Microsoft has removed a series of fake Google Chrome ads on Bing that could potentially lead to malware reaching users’ computers.
The issue was brought to light by developer Gabriel Landau, who reported it to Microsoft last week. He said searching for Google Chrome on Bing returned a bunch of ads pointing to what appeared to be malicious websites possibly serving dangerous content.
One of the links pointed to was googleonline2018.com, and for some reason, Microsoft Edge and Bing were the only ones not flagging it as dangerous. Google Chrome blocked access to the page, warning users of the possible risks when accessing the site.
Ads already removed
Microsoft has already removed the malicious ads, and in a statement, a company spokesperson called for users to continue reporting such content to provide a cleaner searching experience.
“Protecting customers from malicious content is a top priority and we have removed the ads from Bing and banned the associated account. We encourage users to continue to report this type of content so we can take appropriate action,” the company said.
As ZDNet points out, it was only a matter of time until some people accused Microsoft of intentionally allowing fake Google Chrome ads in order to boost the share of Microsoft Edge browser.
While this is unlikely to be the case, Microsoft did turn to some controversial tactics to convince users to try out Edge browser, including popups that were shown right on the desktop.
Similar malicious ads have been spotted in the past as well, so what Microsoft needs to do is actually improve its filters in order to be more effective against content that could put users’ devices at risk. For the time being, however, you can continue using Bing and Edge normally, but you should still pay attention to the links that you click on the search results page.