Today during my daily Googling I noticed this. I am using AVG Antivirus Free Edition 9.0.709 and has the AVG Search Shield enabled. Since Firefox is my default browser, the AVG Search Shield acts automatically on the Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page) (Google being my default search engine).
While searching something out of curiosity I clicked the “Cached” link under the search link [refer the screenshots below]. And lo and behold! AVG Search Shield blocked the Cache page with this message:
Danger: AVG Search-Shield has detected active threats on this page and has blocked access for your protection.
The page you are trying to access has been identified as a known exploit, phishing or social engineering web site and therefore has been blocked for your safety. Without protection, such as that in the AVG Security Toolbar and AVG, your computer is at risk of being compromised, corrupted or having your identity stolen. Please follow one of the suggestions below to continue:
IP Address: 18.104.22.168
This was confusing and at the same time intriguing. Without even testing, I was damn sure that the above IP address that was being inappropriately flagged as suspicious by AVG was the IP address of one of Google’s server. Anyway just to confirm it I copy-pasted the IP (http://22.214.171.124) into a different browser’s address bar (Chrome and IE. I chose different browser because AVG Search Shield was ONLY activated in Firefox) and hit enter. And as expected, it lead me to Google’s home page (try that yourself to be sure) To double verify, I clicked the “click here” (refer above screenshot) link and it indeed took me to the Google Cache page!
Google Cached Link that Caused the above Warning!
So it appears that AVG Antivirus 9.0 Search Shield, for some reason, is identifying Google’s IP address as an active threat and warning the user to stay away. Looks like something very serious is going on between AVG and Google. Either it is a glitch (I would call it ‘serious’) on the AVG side. Or still worse, this is some kind of anti-Google action that AVG has decided to take up. If it is the former, then hopefully it will eventually be spotted by AVG (hope someone from AVG is reading this) and will be rectified. But what if it is due to some kind of hidden war between the Big ‘G’ and AVG? If it is so, I think it is easy to imagine who is going to lose this battle.
If you have AVG installed, get it’s Search Shield activated and let us hear if you can also see the above issue. Note that any and every keyword/keyphrase in Google search page that has a ‘Cached’ link (like the second screenshot above) leads to this security warning.
At any rate, is it an ‘accidental bug’ in AVG that is causing this? Or is it some kind of conspiracy against Google? What do you think?