Posted by Virus Bulletin on Jun 10, 2011
Popular analytics tool mistakenly flagged as 'high risk'.
Security firm Sophos had an embarrassing moment this morning when its scanner flagged Google Analytics as malicious.
While the average Internet user may have little experience with Google's analytics tool, it is used by half of the one million most popular websites - to track information about site visits through a number of scripts embedded in the web page. The false positive (FP) would thus have been seen by almost every user of Sophos's malware scanner online between 5am and 6am GMT.
Upon discovery of the FP, the company quickly released a fix that has since been issued to all its customers, with the scanning engines being updated automatically.
Sophos is far from the first company to suffer an embarrassing false positive and it is unlikely to be the last. Thankfully, the company did the only right thing to do in such a case: fixed the issue, warned customers and openly admitted its mistake.