Google Chrome has begun blocking user access to file sharing sites, according to a new report. Although the issue has been resolved in two cases, users are or were restricted from initially accessing the sites, instead receiving a popup indicating that the sites contain harmful programs that could affect their computers.
Many file sharers and users of sites such as ExtraTorrent, Kickass Torrents, Torrentz, RARBG and others suddenly received popups indicating access to those websites is restricted when using Google's Chrome browser. The warning could still be bypassed by clicking through the details link after receiving it or by disabling warnings in the settings of the browser.
The users were directed to a red warning popup stating: "The site ahead contains harmful programs. Attackers on (the file sharing site the user has attempted to access) 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)."
Operators of the sites reacted by claiming that they had no idea why Google had begun blocking access to their websites but that they would work with Google to resolve the issue. ExtraTorrent issued the following statement: "There is no malicious software and you are still able to load ExtraTorrent in Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Chromium and other browsers. We'll contact Google to resolve the issue shortly."
Indeed, the problem has been resolved in the case of ExtraTorrent, which, along with RARBG, is now accessible. Speculation is that the blocking may have been triggered by advertisements that are considered malicious by Google and can potentially install unwanted toolbar software and other malware on users' computers.
Meanwhile, many proxy sites, which mirror the content of the file sharing sites, went unaffected. However, users are now reporting that the Firefox browser has also begun restricting access to several top file sharing websites as well.