Google's, which hosts the Google Gadget feature, is susceptible to exploitation by phishers, an internet security researcher has warned.

Malicious users are using the platform to host and redirect users to phishing websites, according to a blog entry by Robert Hansen on

The security researcher reported the problem to Google last week, which responded by email saying: “this is not a bug, but instead the expected behaviour of this domain.”

Hansen said that cybercriminals were using to host phishing sites and to prevent the closure of the fraudulent websites.

He slammed the internet giant for not responding to the cross-site scripting (XXS) problem appropriately, misunderstanding the risk and failing to combat the issue to protect its customers.

“Putting phishing sites on is apparently expected behaviour,” Hansen wrote in the blog. “This is the third time they [Google] have said what I reported was either not a bug or too hard to fix.”

Google could not be reached for comment.