For the past few hours, Chrome and Firefox users have been unable to access Torrentz2.eu without running into a significant roadblock.
Instead of the usual torrent search box, visitors to the meta-search engine now see an ominous red warning banner when they try to find a torrent.
“The site ahead contains harmful programs,” Google Chrome informs its users.
“Attackers on torrentz2.eu might attempt to trick you into installing programs that harm your browsing experience (for example, by changing your homepage or showing extra ads on sites you visit),” the warning adds.
Mozilla’s Firefox browser displays an equally worrying message.
These warning messages are triggered by Google’s Safebrowsing algorithm which flags websites that pose a potential danger to visitors. Chrome, Firefox, and others use this service to prevent users from running into unwanted software.
Usually, these warnings are the result of malicious ads, but here that’s less apparent. The operator of Torrentz2 informs us that he only advertises a VPN at the moment, which is by no means malicious.
According to Google’s Safebrowsing report, however, Torrentz2 is flagged for installing “unwanted or malicious software on visitors’ computers.”
TorrentFreak previously learned from another site admin that Google also flags “social engineering” attempts. That is, for example, when users are tricked by false claims to take a certain action.
Torrentz2’s ad warned: “Your Internet Provider is tracking your torrent activity!” which in theory could fit this category, as ISPs generally don’t keep track of users’ torrenting habits.
In any case, Chrome and Firefox users should be familiar with these intermittent warning notices by now. If users believe that an affected site is harmless they can always take steps (Chrome, FF) to bypass the blocks, but that’s completely at their own risk.
For Torrentz2 a bypass is not going to help much at the moment. The torrent site is currently down due to hosting issues, which the operator hopes to fix soon.