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Update: PinkNews.co.uk and Google security issues

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  1. Ananadarama 25 Feb 2009, 4:54am

    Google was correct: you site does had virus and it try to attack my PC and was blocked by my antivirus program.

  2. Sister Mary Clarence 25 Feb 2009, 6:00am

    Care to share what the virus in question was then, Ananadarama?

  3. Nik Greenwood 25 Feb 2009, 8:41am

    Well I’ve visited the site several times now since the block came up and just keep ignoring it. I like firefox and dont want to stop using it so will just keep clicking ignore when the warning appears.

    I have all faith in Pink News and their team, and think that google need to get their act in gear, and categorically say what where when etc the problems are…

    It is worrying that, if this is an error, how did it happen. Or is it something more sinister does someone out their have some homophobic objective? And unfortunately I can sadly imagine it seems to be working, though little is being said in the press at the moment. Maybe we need to kick up more of a fuss at google.

    Keep up the excellant work, PinkNews.co.uk

    Yours, with Respect.

    Nik Greenwood

  4. I got here eventually but I’m still very worried. The Google info page gives information which surely someone who’s not a technological halfwit like me could check for sure?:

    Of the 424 pages we tested on the site over the past 90 days, 8 page(s) resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time Google visited this site was on 2009-02-24, and the last time suspicious content was found on this site was on 2009-02-23.
    Malicious software includes 8 scripting exploit(s), 4 trojan(s). Successful infection resulted in an average of 13 new processes on the target machine.

    Malicious software is hosted on 2 domain(s), including auctlva.com/, luckffxi.com/.

    1 domain(s) appear to be functioning as intermediaries for distributing malware to visitors of this site, including dgnet.net/.”

    My scanner thingy has found that auctlva one on my PC before. Is this malware??

    I adore Pink News but I’d really, really like this sorted for definite. Please update us (by email) as soon as you know more.

  5. It isn’t just Google – my anti-virus program (AVG) also said it detected a threat visiting Pink News on Monday.

  6. RIchard Hayden 25 Feb 2009, 9:49am

    Nik Greenwood, why are you blaming Google?!

    For crying out loud, it’s PinkNews which is at fault, if anyone. Clearly they didn’t put the malicious software on there themselves but it will be due to a security hole (for which only they, or the technologists they employ can be blamed) which will have allowed malicious software to have been installed by a third party (whether or not it was installed by a homophobe is probably neither here nor there – it would have been done by automated software which continuously scans the web for vulnerable websites, any vulnerable website, gay or not).

    Suggesting people get around the warning by using Internet Explorer instead of Firefox is grossly irresponsible and either betrays massive ignorance or no concern for its users on the part of PinkNews and the respective commenters.

    Google should be congratulated for its efforts in this area.

  7. Nik Greenwood 25 Feb 2009, 11:17am

    Because I have every faith in PinkNews when they say their isnt a problem. And its odd that only google and its affiliates see pink news as a threat.

  8. I do a scan and virus/Trojan/worm sweep every two days as well as having active Firewalls and scanners running all the time. The only ones which have hit my computer have been from other sites and NOT from the Pink News website. I suggest everyone complains to Google – unless they can prove the existence of this malware on our site, they have no right to proliferate the fact that Pink News is a malicious site.

  9. Richard Hayden 25 Feb 2009, 12:43pm

    As far as I’m aware only Google offers such a service of scanning websites for malicious software so this is why they are the only people to list it as a threat. Faith causes more problems than it solves, I would imagine someone in our community should understand this.

    I suggest you read http://www.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=http://www.pinknews.co.uk/&hl=en for specific reasons as to why Google lists PinkNews as a potentially harmful site. They don’t just make it up:

    “Of the 424 pages we tested on the site over the past 90 days, 8 page(s) resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time Google visited this site was on 2009-02-24, and the last time suspicious content was found on this site was on 2009-02-23.

    Malicious software includes 8 scripting exploit(s), 4 trojan(s). Successful infection resulted in an average of 13 new processes on the target machine.”

    I would imagine it is much more likely that the technologists at Google know what they’re talking about than those at PinkNews (no offence to anyone at PinkNews intended).

    It really annoys me when people who do not know anything about this stuff advise people to work around measures which have been put in place to limit the spread of such malicious software, rather than taking the time to understand the situation.

    Furthermore, immediately blaming shadowy homophobes for all of our ills only serves to fuel homophobia.

  10. Richard Hayden 25 Feb 2009, 12:44pm

    As far as I’m aware only Google offers such a service of scanning websites for malicious software so this is why only they list it as a threat. Faith causes more problems than it solves, I would imagine someone in our community should understand this.

    I suggest you read http://www.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=http://www.pinknews.co.uk/&hl=en for specific reasons as to why Google lists PinkNews as a potentially harmful site. They don’t just make it up:

    “Of the 424 pages we tested on the site over the past 90 days, 8 page(s) resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time Google visited this site was on 2009-02-24, and the last time suspicious content was found on this site was on 2009-02-23.

    Malicious software includes 8 scripting exploit(s), 4 trojan(s). Successful infection resulted in an average of 13 new processes on the target machine.”

    I would imagine it is much more likely that the technologists at Google know what they’re talking about than those at PinkNews (no offence to anyone at PinkNews intended).

    It really annoys me when people who do not know anything about this stuff advise people to work around measures which have been put in place to limit the spread of such malicious software, rather than taking the time to understand the situation.

    Furthermore, immediately blaming shadowy homophobes for all of our ills only serves to fuel homophobia.

  11. Neil Robinson 25 Feb 2009, 12:49pm

    I access Pink News every day. My computer runs a virus check (amongst other things) every day too and I’ve no malicious programmes of any sort on my machine. I’ll keep accessing Pink News every day: like another correspondent I’ve absolute faith in its technical team. There is nothing wrong with Pink News – the blunder is Google’s and may be related to the fact they had severe technical problems themselves yesterday. Neil

  12. John (Derbyshire) 25 Feb 2009, 12:55pm

    How I agree!! I use Bullguard Security software which is permanently scanning-and also has a super efficient firewall that immediately blocks any attacks and disconnects your PC. I have NEVE had any problems with PinkNews whatsoever-unlike some other gay sites I could mention!!

  13. I use Opera, and Firefox and I don’t really have a problem getting into the Pinknews website. I have a gay blog and at one one time it was blocked but later unblocked and there was something wrong with Adsense. If one search engine doesn’t work I use another. But I would certainly never use Internet Explorer.

  14. Running IE7 and Norton 2009. Everything “quick” and “full” scanned and bang up to date. No issues detected. Ran Microsoft’s free to use “Windows One Care” PC virus check and tune up as a one-off “second opinion”. Same negative result.

  15. Ok, here’s the deal. Auctiva has had malware problems on their servers for a couple of days now (see http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7905518.stm). This third party software is used as the basis of many shop/retail sites to monitor traffic etc. If a site has been associated with Auctiva servers then it will be flagged and blacklisted until the threat has been stood down. It appears that some of the ads on PkNews will have direct leads to affected distributors. Until Google et al work through the blacklist their warnings will remain. However, the threat is actually low and most anti-viral apps will shield you. Just stick it out and you’ll be grand – no homophobic agenda detected. Anyway, you all should have PkNews bookmarked at this stage :)

  16. There was no problem with the PinkNews.co.uk website. There is no problem with the PinkNews.co.uk website.

    The warnings, however they were triggered, were wrong.

    The alerts, which I ignored over and over in both Firefox and IE without difficulty, were wrong. I use strong anti-virus protection. It was never triggered by PinkNews.co.uk.

    The problem has been fixed by the company declaring the incorrect “alert”.

    There is nothing to see here any longer, move along now, move along.

    IT IS FIXED!

    P.S.: If there had been a real problem with the PinkNews.co.uk website, there is absolutely NO WAY this would have been cleared already!

  17. It must have been a strange and very targeted bug then. I use Firefox and neither my Firefox, nor Google South Africa (which is where I’m from) picked up the warning signs… I’ve also tried it with the Flock browser AND my Google Chrome, also without any hazardous emissions from my PC. Maybe its some new kind of bug that only infects Queer Googling Brits? Whatever the case may be Pinknews… Keep up the good work and keep on talking to Google. Google South Africa (Yip, they also have offices over here) were very understanding when a similar problem happened to a local site I manage. Problem got sorted within 2days. ALTHOUGH, they never told us how it happened in the first place…

  18. This is a problem with Auctiva software on their servers. If PkNews has any advertisments from retailers that run this software they will be blacklisted – especially if PkNews runs pop-ups (not cool). The Auctiva trojan is a low level threat and anyway, you all should be running anti-viral software. And you shouldn’t need Google – you should have it bookmarked. Sheeesh …

  19. Tony Lambert 26 Feb 2009, 12:36pm

    The only thing I can make out of all this is that none of you have the slightest clue what you’re talking about. Sitting in a darkened room running a virus scan and chatting on-line with someone on gardar doesn’t make you instant computer experts, especially Allan… take a chill pill sweetheart.

  20. So much of what is on Pink News, like the banner ads and flash ads, are from third party servers. I have noticed that some of these set tracking cookies without my knowledge even though I use firefox. So much stuff on here is advertising, and we have little control over this type of content. Thankfully, I use Linux, so viruses aren’t an issue. Even malware won’t run on my laptop because of this; if I was a Windows user, then I would be more worried.

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