Google Chrome warns of malware on PhysOrg

Google Chrome warns of malware on PhysOrg

Summary: Google Chrome has started warning its users that phys.org contains malware. Until this issue has been cleared up, avoid the website to be on the safe side. Updates will be posted in this article.

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Google Chrome just started warning PhysOrg visitors that the site is infected with malware. The domain is phys.org (I am purposefully not including a direct link, just in case).

Until we learn more, please avoid visiting PhysOrg. The most likely scenarios it that this is just a false positive. It could also be a rogue ad that is serving up malware. Alternatively, the website or one of its advertisers may have been hacked. Either way, it is best to stay on the safe side for now.

If you can't see the screenshot above, here is the warning text:

Warning: Something's Not Right Here! phys.org contains malware. Your computer might catch a virus if you visit this site. Google has found that malicious software may be installed onto your computer if you proceed. If you've visited this site in the past or you trust this site, it's possible that it has just recently been compromised by a hacker. You should not proceed. Why not try again tomorrow or go somewhere else? We have already notified phys.org that we found malware on the site. For more about the problems found on phys.org, visit the Google Safe Browsing diagnostic page.

If you understand that visiting this site may harm your computer, proceed anyway.

At the time of writing, it is unclear what could be causing this. If you are seeing other sites that are getting a similar warning, please let me know.

I have contacted both Google and PhysOrg. I will update you if I hear back.

I'd like to thank The Bulldog Estate for letting me know about the warning.

Update on May 11 - The warning is now gone. Also, PhysOrg got back to me. Google told PhysOrg the following:

Status of the latest badware review for this site: A review for this site has finished. The site was found clean. The badware warnings from web search are being removed. Please note that it can take some time for this change to propagate.

"Our admins haven't found any signs of badware on the site," a PhysOrg spokesperson said in a statement. "It may have been caused by malware distributed through a third-party ad network. We are working with our ad network partners investigating this possibility. It could also be a false positive from the Safebrowsing."

See also:

Topics: Security, Browser, Google, Malware

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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8 comments
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  • Google Chrome warns of malware on PhysOrg

    Firefox tagged it, Internet Explorer did not.
    daikon
    • Which could mean...

      It could be a false positive (Firefox).. or a false negative (IE).

      In fact, you can't tell either way.
      TheWerewolf
  • Google Chrome warns of malware on PhysOrg

    AVG resident-shield did not see it. The code shows a fake error message and if you click ok its going to get worse. As it was for me it bombed my admin user profile. Win creates a new one but all the settings and desktop are gone but not deleted. Nasty attack would leave many people to believe its a memory or hard disk hardware failure. (Hard Disk disappears from a BIOS corruption). I used default BIOS to get a re-boot (into Safe Mode). System restore craps out. yeah ... a nasty piece of work. I thought it was on an external site from a link on phys.org and a PDF file opening but I'm not sure yet. It frightened the life out of me. Remind self - must back up.
    -bluehigh
    drbluehigh
    • All Different

      All the anti-virus/malware vendors tag it differently. Some are faster to find malware, some are slower, some on demand, some won't find something at all while others might give a false positive.
      james@...
  • In fact .. its a positive.

    I was using IE(8) at the time too. Also, I remember some indication it was Java(script).
    Also add to the mix, I was running as an administrator.
    - bluehigh
    drbluehigh
  • Odd...

    Just tried for kicks. Site showed up, no warning. Perhaps they got it sorted out?
    sandman366
  • Physorg reply ...

    http://phys.org/help/malware/

    Regardless that it affected some visitors, Physorg decides to blame Google or anyone else except themselves. Anyway its gone for now.

    Phys.org allows users to include links in comments. Beware there is no check for malware at the link destination. Be careful or simply dont click on the links.
    drbluehigh
  • Hey..

    This article will definitely help you ...check it out
    http://akshayeminem.blogspot.in/2013/01/malware-warning-only-by-google-chrome.html
    Akshay R