Starting a few hours ago Chrome and Firefox users are unable to access KickassTorrents (KAT) directly.
Instead of a page filled with the latest torrents, visitors now see an ominous red warning banner when they visit Kat.cr.
“The site ahead contains harmful programs,” Google Chrome informs its users.
“Attackers on kat.cr 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 a similar message
The warning messages are triggered by Google’s “Unwanted Software” scanner which flags websites that pose a potential danger to visitors. Chrome and Firefox both use the service to prevent users from running into malicious software.
The policy applies to all websites but torrent sites are common targets of ‘unwanted software’ distributors, according to Google.
The company further stresses that the warnings will automatically disappear when the flagged sites no longer violate Google’s policy.
This is not the first time that the red warning banner has shown up at Kat.cr. The same happened a few months ago and at the time several other large torrent sites were also affected.
Coincidentally, KAT’s operators just issued a warning to avoid malicious copycat sites, which only adds to the confusion. This warning is unrelated to the alert triggered by Google.
Previously, the Chrome and Firefox warnings did indeed disappear after the affected websites disabled certain advertisements, so it’s likely that the current issue will also be resolved in due time.
Impatient or adventurous users who want to bypass the warning can do so by clicking the details link, or disable their browser’s malware warnings altogether, at their own risk.
Update: The KAT team informs us that the bad advertiser has been removed, so the warning should disappear after Google reviews it.
Update October 12: After nearly three days the warning is now gone.