August 31, 2012

Attack! (Huh?)

So there I am browsing my daily comics, and for one of the sites, Firefox pops up this warning:

Whoa! The site must have gotten hacked, right? But I click on the "Why was this page blocked?" button, and got this response:

So... there are no attacks, no evidence of a hack, but you just decided to block browsing anyway? And this appears to be based on a Google list somewhere, which should be very scary for the site owner if this is more than just a Firefox bug: Google has made it very clear, repeatedly, that they do not give a single shit when their algorithms have some catastrophic effect on individual people or individual websites, and they make it exceedingly difficult to get a resolution (except for people who know somebody inside Google or can get a high-ranking post on Reddit or Hacker News, of course).

Perhaps I'm overreacting. Is there another explanation why Firefox would post big scary messages and block a site based on a Google list which, when queried, says there's no reason for alarm? I'm sure I'll think of it momentarily.

"A beautiful program with a single misplaced semicolon is like a sports car with one piston out of line. Both are dead machines, functionally indistinguishable from junk." --Kevin Carey

Posted by blahedo at 9:50am on 31 Aug 2012
Comments
It is scary and is not just Firefox. It mirrors the issues with the email blacklists I saw over 10 years ago, except it is even less clear how one runs afoul of Google. Any attempt to use my mail servers to relay spam resulted in the spam falling into the bit bucket silently. The ass who ran the biggest black list wanted the server to respond to the spammers. That takes more resources and served no reasonable purpose, yet if you didn't, you, might get blacklisted. They also did spam tests which would crash certain mail servers. They knew which ones, could detect that their test would crash the box and deliberately carried it out anyway. Posted by lee at 3:08pm on 6 Mar 2013
It is scary and is not just Firefox. It mirrors the issues with the email blacklists I saw over 10 years ago, except it is even less clear how one runs afoul of Google. Any attempt to use my mail servers to relay spam resulted in the spam falling into the bit bucket silently. The ass who ran the biggest black list wanted the server to respond to the spammers. That takes more resources and served no reasonable purpose, yet if you didn't, you, might get blacklisted. They also did spam tests which would crash certain mail servers. They knew which ones, could detect that their test would crash the box and deliberately carried it out anyway. Posted by lee at 3:11pm on 6 Mar 2013
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