Okay, folks, we know what you're thinking.

So Google got hacked, huh?
Actually, we didn't. What happened yesterday was that someone sent the latest version of the MyDoom computer virus out for a spin, and this version flooded search engines like ours with automated searches. Fortunately, we were able to quickly identify those queries and block them, so that, for most of our users, at no point was our site significantly impaired.

Then why did some people get error messages when they tried to do searches?
A very small percentage of our users and networks--most notably, a few media outlets that write about us--were heavily infected with MyDoom, so our systems temporarily blocked their queries. By noon, service for all our users had been completely restored.

What was up with that "Error-27" page?
Yeah, we've just learned that our error message for blocked queries isn't the friendliest or most informative communication we've ever had with our users. Hey, we didn't think we'd ever have to show it to anyone...

What's MyDoom again?
Here's a technical explanation of the MyDoom virus and how it works.

Great, but I'm not a geek, okay? I just want to know if I have this thing and how to get rid of it.
If you suspect your computer may have been infected with MyDoom, or just want to be sure that it isn't, we recommend that you do a search for "MyDoom" and/or "antivirus software." Plenty of reputable sites can help you check your hard drive for MyDoom and other viruses, remove whatever viruses you find, and protect your computer from getting infected in the future. If you already have a virus scanner, be sure that it has the latest virus definition file (many programs update automatically) and scan your machine again just to be sure. We'll all probably be living with viruses for a long time; let's make sure we're well-armed.

-- Urs Hoelzle
VP of operations and Google Fellow