Why Google, YouTube and Gmail were blocked by antivirus

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All Google sites, including YouTube, Gmail or the Play Store, were temporarily inaccessible during the day of September 21. A very popular antivirus has apparently blocked Google services on Windows computers.

This Wednesday, September 21, 2022, many Internet users could no longer connect to Google websites. Around 4 p.m., services like YouTube, Gmail, the Play Store or Google search engine, were inaccessible for a plethora of users. Google’s ReCaptcha service was also unusable.

For an hour, their computer refused to open a Google website. As always, many Internet users have shared their dismay on social networks, especially on Twitter. According to the testimonials visible on the microblogging platform, the sites were simply not loading.

Read also: Google is spending billions of dollars to illegally buy its dominant position, according to the US Department of Justice

On Windows, MalwareBytes blocked Google by mistake

Apparently, the problem was caused by a very popular antivirus, MalwareBytes. On its Twitter account, the antivirus quickly recognized a temporary issue with our product’s web filtering component that may block certain domains”. MalwareBytes is committed to deploy a patch a.s.a.p. In the meantime, the antivirus advised its users to temporarily disable web protection ».

Contacted by our colleagues from Motherboard, Marcin Kleczynski, CEO and co-founder of Malwarebytes, specified that only Windows computer users were affected. The manager points the finger an accidental false positive”.

“Unfortunately, it’s always a noisy event when you have millions of users”tempers Marcin Kleczynski.

Before MalwareBytes’ announcement, many Internet users had made the connection between their antivirus and blocking Google sites. On the other hand, some users thought that the Mountain View giant had been victim of hacking.

An update fixes the bug

Within an hour of speaking up, MalwareBytes had fixed the problem. The antivirus reveals that a “routine update » introduced an error in the web filtering database ». De facto, the antivirus has blocked certain domain names for no reason.

Following an update deployed urgently, everything should be back to normal. If you’re still having trouble logging in to Google sites, MalwareBytes recommends checking to make sure you have the latest version of antivirus installed.

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