+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 34
  1. #1
    Unprofessional mrsyeltzin's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-16-2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    415

    Reported Attack Site!?

    what's this?

    http://safebrowsing.clients.google.c...lf-2009-a.html

    I tried to click on the Palm Pre article in the news section and was blocked, by firefox saying it is a reported malicious site. none of the other pages give me this error. wtf?

  2. #2
    Editor and Site Administrator Convergent's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-16-2002
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
    Posts
    9,440
    Thanks for reporting this... our site is clearly not a malicious site. Google advertises here. Google has implemented some new "nanny" mentality features that are making life very difficult for webmasters. Apparently an ad allegedly showed up here through one of the ad networks that was a problem and it has long since been gone, but Google has now labeled all the pages that ever showed anything as malicious and its near impossible to figure out what pages are on their list. I'm pretty annoyed with them about it and haven't begun to start trying to deal with them about it. There is nothing wrong with the pages they are labeling, they've just got this once reported, always a problem mentality now and think they need to shut everything down at the search engine level. So out of the hundreds of thousands of pages on our site, a handful of them are now labeled as a problem. Sorry for my rant, but this is kind of a ridiculous system they have implemented and there is no easy way for a webmaster to interact with them on it.
    Mike - Been Converged?

  3. #3
    Unprofessional mrsyeltzin's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-16-2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    415
    Mike,

    Sorry to hear this is such a pain to fix. I'm actually starting to see it more often. I use Firefox as my browser and am encountering it quite a bit. I have not seen this problem when using IE. This seems to be some partnership between Mozilla and Google - and I don't like it one bit. I just want to keep you apprised of what is happening, and I know that there isn't much you can do about it, unfortunately.

  4. #4
    Editor and Site Administrator Convergent's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-16-2002
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
    Posts
    9,440
    Thanks for the info.... yep it is a pain and I need to get to the bottom of it. Its been a very busy week and thus not much progress. Its too bad there are people in the world that have nothing better to do but cause trouble like this.
    Mike - Been Converged?

  5. #5
    Administrator
    Join Date
    10-21-2001
    Posts
    26,048
    yeah every time i head to this particular section of the forum i get the red alert page! unbelievable...

  6. #6
    Editor and Site Administrator Convergent's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-16-2002
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
    Posts
    9,440
    Well I've taken the dramatic step of shutting down all network ads at this point to see if Google is happy with that. If that solves the problem, then I'll reintroduce them one at a time until we find the problem. We won't be able to run this way for long because we are already hurting in terms of funding the site. Because of the economy, or ad income has dropped way off. This I'm sure isn't going to help, and right now its tweaked down to nearly zero. The only thing I left turned on was Google ads. If they are the problem, I think my head would explode.
    Mike - Been Converged?

  7. #7
    Editor and Site Administrator Convergent's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-16-2002
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
    Posts
    9,440
    Google is still flagging us as unsafe. By the way, it is because they say that we are linking to something unsafe, not that WE are unsafe. I have removed all the ad networks (except Google) and so nothing should be dynamic at this point and I can't find anything wrong on these pages they are flagging. I'm trying to make contact with Google to find out what their problem is, but that's like trying to get a one on one in person meeting with God.
    Mike - Been Converged?

  8. #8
    Editor and Site Administrator Convergent's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-16-2002
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
    Posts
    9,440
    I found a problem this morning with some very, very old posts from 2003... about 500 of them unfortunately. I think this may have been left over from pre-merger days. I'm going through deleting all of the problem posts and this will hopefully resolve the problem. I believe it just showed up because Google added a new tool that does this check and labels sites that link to problems. There are some links I'm removing that I hope will take care of this, but it will take me several hours to go through it, and then I'll have to wait for Google to recheck the site.
    Mike - Been Converged?

  9. #9
    Techguru alanb's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-30-2002
    Location
    dc-baltimore megalopolis
    Posts
    2,184
    So, today, THIS thread was actually flagged as unsafe.

    Alan

  10. #10
    Editor and Site Administrator Convergent's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-16-2002
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
    Posts
    9,440
    Go figure. The more I dig into this, the more I am really upset with Google for doing this. They have launched this new tool to keep people safe... nothing wrong with that. But they didn't tell the webmasters about it beforehand, and its a mess. On their webmaster support forums, people are going ballistic. The information they provide about the problems is almost useless.... kind of like a Microsoft error message. Then their timing for a "re review" is days, not minutes. At this point, the whole part of the site to request a review seems to be missing for our site. And there is NO ONE to talk to in order to get help. So the webmaster is just basically screwed.

    So back to our problem. Back many years ago our site was hacked. I believe this is a remnant of that problem. All the posts in the database prior to 2003 have a hidden iframe tag. A lot of the older forums had html enabled. I no longer allow html in posts, but didn't go back and alter that flag on all the old forums. I've now changed that setting which makes all these iframe tags benign, and I'm working with our server guys to figure out the best way to remove it. I am not positive why the newer posts are getting flagged. I think it has to do with Google crawling the site... finding a problem... and then making everything along the path flagged/blocked. So if they enter the site to crawl on this thread and then jump from links to other pages that have the problem, bingo. So its slowly destroying the whole site with each crawl. Thankfully they've not flagged the home page yet. There may be some other problems, but I believe this is the bulk of it. This stuff is so old that I doubt the destination problem site is even still around.

    I can't believe Google has done this. Its just a stupid way to do something when they have the power to destroy a site at the flip of a switch. They should have rolled this out in a test mode and let the webmasters see the results so they could fix the problems before it went to the public. Most webmasters are not intentionally serving anything bad. And a lot of them have things like this going on. I applaud them for trying to keep the internet safe, but this is not the way to do it.

    I don't know when this will end at this point because I can't even see a way to request them to review the site again. I have found that if I use Firefox on my Mac, I don't have the blocking going on, but I do in Safari. I guess using a different browser may be the best course until we get this rectified.

    I do apologize for the inconvenience that this is causing. I hope we have it fixed soon.
    Mike - Been Converged?

  11. #11
    Editor and Site Administrator Convergent's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-16-2002
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
    Posts
    9,440
    You have to love this... In Google's Webmaster Tools, they are now showing the site as OK... no problems found. But, if you try to go to any of the pages they've flagged, they say there is a problem. Because the Webmaster Tools has no problem, there is no option for me to request that the site be reviewed to clear the warnings. So I'm in la-la land here.

    I guess Google is now officially a monopoly. They can screw with people's lives and give you no way to actually talk to them to try and get a resolution. This is the kind of thing that class action suits are made for.
    Mike - Been Converged?

  12. #12
    Techguru alanb's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-30-2002
    Location
    dc-baltimore megalopolis
    Posts
    2,184
    Quote Originally Posted by Convergent View Post
    I don't know when this will end at this point because I can't even see a way to request them to review the site again. I have found that if I use Firefox on my Mac, I don't have the blocking going on, but I do in Safari. I guess using a different browser may be the best course until we get this rectified.
    Attack site warning can be disabled in Firefox (don't know about Safari). If this issue doesn't get resolved, it will lose its value and users will need to turn it off to surf at all.

    Frustrating.

    Alan

  13. #13
    Editor and Site Administrator Convergent's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-16-2002
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
    Posts
    9,440
    Yep, this is true. I have it enabled in Safari and disabled in Firefox so I can work on this as it was driving me crazy. I think I found a back door way to get the site reviewed. I guess one thing I could do is actually put something harmful onto the site to get them to flag it, and then remove it and ask for a review. Only kidding of course. You have to keep a sense of humor in all of this because its so ridiculous at times. The good part in all of this is that nothing has been attacked recently, I don't believe. This is a remnant from when the site and server was clobbered back in that timeframe...2003. I doubt any real people would have ever run into any of it, but the google bots crawl everything and hit it, so then they start back tracking through all the pages they hit it on. At least thats my theory now. We will take the site down this weekend to do some scrubs on the database to be safe. I was hoping to get the warning cleared before then so that if there was some other problem we'd know about it and be able to address it at the same time.
    Mike - Been Converged?

  14. #14
    Administrator
    Join Date
    10-21-2001
    Posts
    26,048
    i remember when the site was hacked. i was there when it happened...this is really insane... i use firefox and every time i get in here i get this popup. i lick directly on this link and its flagged as alanb says (btw hello alanb! long time! :hi

  15. #15
    Editor and Site Administrator Convergent's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-16-2002
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
    Posts
    9,440
    Well... I now finally got a response from an actual Google God (Google employee that is) who said that the site is fine, and the warnings should stop "soon". Its been fine since early this morning. You'd think that "soon" would be a little faster than that.
    Mike - Been Converged?

  16. #16
    Administrator
    Join Date
    10-21-2001
    Posts
    26,048
    welp its crawling towards 10 o clock and i still see it...

  17. #17
    Cornfused MGuzzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-27-2003
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    2,810
    Its still there! I just popped into this thread and got it... talk about irony! The other forums I frequent don't seem to generate the message, go figya... Maybe Google has flagged this thread because we are talking about "IT" I got it a few days ago while going to the news forum (BTW thanks for the new articles!)...
    I can't wait to start getting calls from my clients on this too.. Just for fun I thought I would post a screen shot of the message for history's sake..
    Mark
    PS His guys.. good to see you about.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Reported Attack Site!?-pdaphone-attack.jpg  
    Luck is where opportunity meets preparation.

  18. #18
    Editor and Site Administrator Convergent's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-16-2002
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
    Posts
    9,440
    This is very frustrating. If you hit the information link on that warning page you posted, you'll find that it says there are no problems currently on the site... so why are they still showing the warning? A Google employee has even confirmed that there are no problems and said the warnings would stop "soon". Google is becoming the new "evil empire". Ironically I've been a partner with Google Adsense since they created it. These problems that they found were from posts that were 6 years old, and the odds of any user ever seeing those posts is slim. Because they have bots, they crawl through everything and eventually found those threads (that part is great... admirable... and what the web needs to help keep things safe), and then branded everything that back-linked along the way as a problem. Since everything is connected in a forum, all the forums that have any posts going back to that timeframe, or linking to anything from that timeframe are labeled. That's the bot mentality, and not the way actual users would browse the site. They could have easily launched this new tool... flagged the problems and let the webmasters know... given them a period of time to correct the problems... then if no action was taken, THEN do this nasty warning system. Their help forum is full of people in the same boat as me. Have no problems, but are still being labeled as a malware site. Arghh...
    Mike - Been Converged?

  19. #19
    Administrator
    Join Date
    10-21-2001
    Posts
    26,048
    still see it...

  20. #20
    Editor and Site Administrator Convergent's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-16-2002
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
    Posts
    9,440
    And four days later... we finally get action. I threw in that I was talking to an attorney (which I did... a class action attorney in fact) in their webmaster forums and finally someone fixed the problem. Amazing.

    I would like to reiterate that I don't believe there was ever any real risk to our members on this issue, as the threads that were infected occurred six years ago and it is pretty doubtful that any actual visitor would have been interested in those threads. All of our recent forums don't even allow this stuff to be posted, and now all of the forums are configured that way. I do apologize for the inconvenience this caused everyone.... it was pretty ridiculous that this took about a week to get resolved. Lets hope that Google improves the process they use for this thing... their goal is a good one, but they can't do it like a bull in a china shop.
    Mike - Been Converged?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts