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Thread: MALWARE - IMPORTANT PLEASE READ

  1. #1
    Administrator swanbourne's Avatar
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    MALWARE - IMPORTANT PLEASE READ

    I've received this e-mail from Google and I'm not happy at all. Anyone posting links needs to ensure that clicking that link does not present a risk to other forum users. Posting restrictions will be applied to future offenders. The risk appears to have been an advertising pop-up rather than the site itself, so bear this in mind when posting links. The post has now been removed.

    I spent 35 minutes fighting my way through Google's procedures to request a security review and remove the warning.

    Dear site owner or webmaster of tz-uk.com,


    We recently discovered that some of your pages can cause users to be infected with malicious software. We have begun showing a warning page to users who visit these pages by clicking a search result on Google.com.

    Below is an example URL on your site which can cause users to be infected (space inserted to prevent accidental clicking in case your mail client auto-links URLs):

    LINK REMOVED

    Here is a link to a sample warning page:

    LINK REMOVED

    We strongly encourage you to investigate this immediately to protect your visitors. Although some sites intentionally distribute malicious software, in many cases the webmaster is unaware because:

    1) the site was compromised
    2) the site doesn't monitor for malicious user-contributed content
    3) the site displays content from an ad network that has a malicious advertiser


    If your site was compromised, it's important to not only remove the malicious (and usually hidden) content from your pages, but to also identify and fix the vulnerability. We suggest contacting your hosting provider if you are unsure of how to proceed. StopBadware also has a resource page for securing compromised sites:
    http://www.stopbadware.org/home/security

    Once you've secured your site, you can request that the warning be removed by visiting
    LINK REMOVED
    and requesting a review. If your site is no longer harmful to users, we will remove the warning.

    Sincerely,
    Google Search Quality Team
    Eddie
    Whole chunks of my life come under the heading "it seemed like a good idea at the time".

  2. #2
    Master PhilipK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swanbourne View Post
    Anyone posting links needs to ensure that clicking that link does not present a risk to other forum users.
    Eddie

    Unfortunately it's not always that easy. A user can link to a totally innocuous site, and then at some point in the future the site becomes compromised and starts to serve malware.

    We are starting to see a number of phishing attacks (usually sent out at the start of a weekend, or late at night), where the link in the email points to a perfectly acceptable web site, and so passes through our mail filtering gateways. Once the mail messages are sitting in users' inboxes, the web site is then amended to serve malware.

    Also: users are not always aware that the sites they visit (or link to) are serving malware. Many legitimate sites (most famously perhaps Paul McCartney's official web site) have been used for "drive-by" infections, without most users realising it.

    It's a jungle out there ...

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by swanbourne View Post
    Anyone posting links needs to ensure that clicking that link does not present a risk to other forum users.
    For the less computer/internet savvy amongst us what do we need to do to ensure the link is ok?

    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  4. #4
    Administrator swanbourne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralphy View Post
    For the less computer/internet savvy amongst us what do we need to do to ensure the link is ok?

    R
    Well there's the rub: you'll have a pretty good idea if you suddenly get 50 pop-ups for "inappropriate" sites but the site Google referred to in the post above was seemingly clean when the link was originally posted. All I can say is that if you see something that's NSFW or you get a warning, don't post it. I know that sounds like common-sense but people do post links which show warnings.

    Eddie
    Whole chunks of my life come under the heading "it seemed like a good idea at the time".

  5. #5
    Master aldfort's Avatar
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    If you have good and up to date anti malware software on your PC and it's set to constantly monitor content then you should be fine. For example I have Mcafee and if you click a link to a dodgy web site a warning comes up in red before the web site is visited. You have to deliberately tell Mcafee that you want to visit the site.

    Interestingly many other forum sites seem to have had a problem like this in the last few days. All reported by Google.

    I still run regular malware and AV scans using other tools as any scanning engine is only as good as it's database.
    Last edited by aldfort; 7th May 2013 at 09:01.

  6. #6
    Master ingenioren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swanbourne View Post
    Well there's the rub: you'll have a pretty good idea if you suddenly get 50 pop-ups for "inappropriate" sites but the site Google referred to in the post above was seemingly clean when the link was originally posted. All I can say is that if you see something that's NSFW or you get a warning, don't post it. I know that sounds like common-sense but people do post links which show warnings.

    Eddie

    Eddie,
    In short, if you are looking at a particular website, and pop-ups start appearing, then NOT to pass on that web-link at which you were looking ??

    Thanks
    Peter

  7. #7
    Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    It might be worth having this as a sticky across all the fora - I know there was a warning in the BR the other day on the GIF thread.

  8. #8
    Craftsman twhp101's Avatar
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    I use a Linux OS (Ubuntu) with Firefox browser. I also have adblock, and the settings are set to block all pop-ups.

    I don't think I ever get any pop-ups, or at least if I do there are no notifications. I have ClamTk installed but I don't think it runs in the background (ran a check just now and no threats found).

    Given that there's nothing running in the background and I never seem to get any warnings about dodgy sites, how would I know if I was posting a bad link to a site serving malware?

  9. #9
    Administrator swanbourne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twhp101 View Post
    I use a Linux OS (Ubuntu) with Firefox browser. I also have adblock, and the settings are set to block all pop-ups.

    I don't think I ever get any pop-ups, or at least if I do there are no notifications. I have ClamTk installed but I don't think it runs in the background (ran a check just now and no threats found).

    Given that there's nothing running in the background and I never seem to get any warnings about dodgy sites, how would I know if I was posting a bad link to a site serving malware?
    In the scenario you describe, the only time you will know if you posted anything inappropriate is when your posting privileges are restricted.

    Eddie
    Whole chunks of my life come under the heading "it seemed like a good idea at the time".

  10. #10
    Craftsman twhp101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swanbourne View Post
    In the scenario you describe, the only time you will know if you posted anything inappropriate is when your posting privileges are restricted.

    Eddie
    Good to know, thanks for clearing that up. I don't post links very often (if ever) but useful to know both for here and elsewhere.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by swanbourne View Post
    In the scenario you describe, the only time you will know if you posted anything inappropriate is when your posting privileges are restricted.

    Eddie
    As the majority of surfers these days use Mac/iOs/Linux/Android etc, and use browsers that dont give these warnings, does that mean that in the future (when we are all banned from posting) the forum will be Windows only?

    Ironic no? As its these very Windows users who are causing the problem to start with.

  12. #12
    Administrator swanbourne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meinessex View Post
    As the majority of surfers these days use Mac/iOs/Linux/Android etc, and use browsers that dont give these warnings, does that mean that in the future (when we are all banned from posting) the forum will be Windows only?

    Ironic no? As its these very Windows users who are causing the problem to start with.
    All I'm asking is that you don't post links which contain malware, however you manage that is your responsibility.

    Eddie
    Whole chunks of my life come under the heading "it seemed like a good idea at the time".

  13. #13
    Craftsman
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    Hi - what are the implications of this for IPAD users?

    Cheers

  14. #14
    Master shalako's Avatar
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    Two new ceramic SD's at Terminal 1 WOS.....

    I posted on here about a month ago when I noticed one on display, for those that are after one they now have two more which will be available tax free if your travelling outside the EU. They had a Blue/Black GMT BLNR too but that sold in minutes at the full retail price by a passenger they told me.

  15. #15
    Administrator swanbourne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shalako View Post
    I posted on here about a month ago when I noticed one on display, for those that are after one they now have two more which will be available tax free if your travelling outside the EU. They had a Blue/Black GMT BLNR too but that sold in minutes at the full retail price by a passenger they told me.
    I'm struggling to understand this within the context of this thread.

    Eddie
    Whole chunks of my life come under the heading "it seemed like a good idea at the time".

  16. #16
    Craftsman
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    This is possibly overly alarmist by Google - this happens on another forum I frequent, and it's usually caused by just embedding an image hosted on a site that's been compromised.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt1974
    Hi - what are the implications of this for IPAD users?
    Unlikely for there to be any implications for your device, but you may not know if you're posting a link to a site which could cause harm to other users.

    Lots of pop-ups is not necessarily something to go by; malicious code does not need a pop-up to infect a computer. It's probably safe to say that it's more likely on sites you might expect it on (porn, pirated software sites etc).

    Quote Originally Posted by Meinessex View Post
    As the majority of surfers these days use Mac/iOs/Linux/Android etc, and use browsers that dont give these warnings, does that mean that in the future (when we are all banned from posting) the forum will be Windows only?

    Ironic no? As its these very Windows users who are causing the problem to start with.
    I would be surprised if the majority of surfers are not still using Windows.

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