Jerame Davis

Malware free and loving it...

Filed By Jerame Davis | March 22, 2010 11:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Site News
Tags: blacklisted, Google, site disruption

After a few days of malware blacklist hell, we've finally gotten a clean bill of health from the Google-stapo malware brigade. As far as we can tell, no one actually got infected with malware - and we think we'll have our ad system working properly again in the next few days.

Thanks to everyone who was keeping an eye on things and reported the problems too us. We got notified by readers even before Google emailed us to let us know there was a problem.

Things may be bumpy with the ads over the next few days - especially since Bil and I are traveling and I'll have limited time and access to work on the site. But hopefully no one will notice any issues going forward.

Sorry for the disruption in service. Between difficult to detect malware and Google's ridiculously convoluted process, this took way longer than we expected. (And added a few gray hairs to my head!)


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My firefox is still showing this site as "Malware Infected" as of 9:40pm PDT March 22, 2010 and keeps redirecting me to the badware site. I had to lower my security protocols to leave a comment. Just thought you would like to know.

I ♥ you and your new gray hairs. Thanks for working all weekend to get Google to back off and stop blocking TBP.

Well, Actually Jerame I was infected with malware from your site. No hard feelings or anything. But I ignored the google warning on sunday and I was infected by the "Antivirus soft" virus. It took me forever and a day to get rid of. I'm glad it's all sorted out though, I've been periodically checking to see if you were still blacklisted. Good to know you excellent site is back up and vivi free!

I am now able to access all links here without any warnings as 12:49am PDT March 23, 2010. Hopefully all this bs is done.

For what it is worth, I have not been getting the warnings anymore this morning. Hopefully your ad provider will not screw the sight up again anytime soon. I would guess it has resulted in a great deal of frustration as working with something the size of Google would be a protracted process at best.

On technical isseus, do you know that your addspace has a 'Traditional Values Coalition' add which says "Do you want a man dressed as a woman teaching your kids?" Get this transphobic trash taken down.

@Cathy, if they're using Google's AdSense for their adspace, then they have no control over which ads display on their site. The advertisers, OTOH, DO have such control, so you may wish to contact the advertisers & let them know that their ads are being shown on gay sites. That should get things taken care of ... ;)

@Jerame as for Google's "ridiculously convoluted process" -- it's that way for a reason, since so many Malware attacks are automated. Google wants to ensure that the Malware itself isn't requested the site to be marked with a "clean bill of health" -- which has happened in the past (which is why, now, the process is so "ridiculously convoluted" as you put it).

NiteStar,

It's more than that. It makes no sense that Google can have such far reaching control of your website, but they can take their own sweet time dealing with issues. What's worse is that they'll tell you that you have malware, but they won't tell you what it is or where it is - just what page they found it on.

When you're dealing with malware coming in through ads, it won't necessarily appear on the same page Google says they found it on. So, when I have 4 ad blocks and one of them is randomly feeding a malware ad, how do I find it when there are no free tools available for doing so?

If Google found it, they need to tell me where it is in the code at the very least. Providing some mitigation tips would be awesome.

There are companies out there that offer "malware removal services" but they charge outrageous fees. I'm quite confident in my abilities to rectify the situation if I know where to look - I did build this site and all...

What's worse is if you get it wrong. I pulled the wrong ad code the first time and then asked Google to rescan the site. After taking half a day to do the rescan, they said we were still infected. I fixed it right the second time, but they made me wait until the next day to submit for another scan and THEN they still took 8 hours to get the request processed.

That's a LOT of lost revenue and reputation - especially when you consider that Google itself has been feeding malware to sites through its own ads.

In other words, if Google does it, it's not as big a deal as if someone else does it but either way, your site is gonna lose out.

When every browser uses Google for malware checks and the #1 search site is google, the lost traffic from all those blocks is enormous. It effectively shuts down the site - which is too much power for one company to have. I never gave Google that kind of permission. I don't have a contract or any sort of agreement with Google and I have absolutely no means of redress with Google when something goes awry.

That's bullshit. Period.

I'm sure that Google has a clause in their ad business contracts preventing customers from sueing them for damages. However, there are also computer crime laws making the manipulation of computer systems illegal. And it has to be asked if Google applied due diligence to checking ad code for malware, or if this is a case of criminal negligence. In Delaware, negligence can be a misdemeanor!

No, Bilerico is still listed by Google as a Malware site! It is getting worse!

I'm still getting warnings as well.

Depends on browser. You can see our malware status here: http://safebrowsing.clients.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?hl=en-US&site=http://www.bilerico.com/

Some browsers take longer to update, but we are certified malware free from Google.