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Security

Google puts repeatedly dangerous websites on notice

Web giant tries to fill the protection gap created when malicious sites clean up their act just long enough to ditch the Safe Browsing warning.

PC Format Magazine

Google has added a new classification to its Safe Browsing initiative to better protect users from malicious websites trying to game the system.

Google's Safe Browsing warns users when they are about to visit a website known to violate the Web giant's policies on malware, unwanted software, phishing or social engineering. The warning appears until Google verifies that the site in question no longer poses a threat to users. But some sites are only cleaning up their act just long enough to shake the warning, and then returning to their harmful behavior.

That gap in user protection led Google to create a new label to warn users of sites that engage in this pattern.

"Starting today, Safe Browsing will begin to classify these types of sites as "Repeat Offenders," Google explained in a company blog post Tuesday. "Please note that websites that are hacked will not be classified as Repeat Offenders; only sites that purposefully post harmful content will be subject to the policy."

Once classified as a "repeat offender," sites will not be allowed to request a review for 30 days. During that time, users will continue to see messages warning them of the risk involved in visiting the site.