Google cracks down on 'repeat offender' websites that continue to spread malware

Google is imposing a heavier punishment on websites hosting malware that have found a way to bypass its Safe Browsing initiative, which was built to prevent users from encountering malicious content online.

A recent post by Brooke Heinichen on the Google Security Blog revealed that the company is now revising its Safe Browsing policies to tag certain websites dubbed as 'repeat offenders.' These are websites that have once complied with Google's policies to keep a website safe and malware-free, but when their warning has been lifted by the company, will revert to their old harmful activities.

A site owner can immediately ask Google to review their website, and then have the warning sign lifted. However, with those that are marked as repeat offenders, a full-page warning sign will be placed for 30 days, until Google is willing to review the website again. "When a site is established as a Repeat Offender, the webmaster will be notified via email to their registered Search Console email address," said Heinichen.

Many of these websites are known to host malicious code, software, or phishing pages. By working around the security feature, they will then appear to be safe for users, despite actually posing a risk for visitors.

Lastly, the blog post indicates that hacked websites will not be classified as repeat offenders; only those who purposefully post harmful content will be subject to the new policy.

Source: Google Security Blog via ZDNet

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