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andii
Level 7
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Message 1 of 93

Getting Site Retested II

Hi forum.

I’ve just been looking through the thread titled Getting site retested dated 03-12-2008.

I have to say I can fully sympathize with the poster as the frustration involved in trying to get some human help from SA, is close to impossible. I’m sure there’s a reason for this lack of care, but the not knowing doesn’t help those looking for a little support.

SQEAKY CLEAN SITE IS FLAGGED RED

According to my hosting company ‘Webstrike Solutions’, there are no bad links, spyware, or viruses on my website files server side. They could they be lying, although I very much doubt it, as I’ve had a good relationship with them and their support team for nearly 4 years now.

Yes, I too, like the previous poster, have been though the online chat (3 times actually), and I’ve sent emails via the online forms 3 times too as suggested by ‘chat’. I’ve also signed up and left comments as webmaster, yet still not a dickybird from anyone. I’ve also submitted a request for retest twice. Nothing! Why is this? I’m assuming these mails via the online forms are received by someone human?

Is this Legal? Firstly, I would like to know if it’s actually legal to just flag someone’s site as being potentially dangerous to visitors without actually contacting the webmaster first to see if he or she is aware of any problems with their project. That would be the courteous thing to do, wouldn’t it? Give the genuine guys an opportunity to fix any vulnerabilities before posting their site all over the web as a bad neighbourhood! Do SA know that by flagging a site red could potentially damage the business of that site?

I’ve actually found out about my red rating via forum posts which I’ve picked up when looking at my site stats. 3 different forums that I know (so I’m guessing there’s more) all of which have been warning members that visiting my website could potentially harm their computers. And then there’s the little red icon next to my site in Google’s Search Results pages, which will also keep visitors away if the have the SA plugin.

No one from SA had contacted me about my site, but I’m assuming someone from SA tested it then happily warned the world about how ‘bad’ it was. This has been going on now since September 2007 and it’s starting to have a negative effect on my web credibility.

Well, to cut a long story short, my local drive is 100% clean and free of any viruses or spyware of any description, so there is no worry about me uploading or overwriting my website files with bad links or code.

My hosting company who I’ve been with for almost 4 years now have tested and retested my site and said it is clean. In fact they have gotten a bit fed up with me asking them to check and recheck, so I guess I have to take their word for it, and assume SA is giving out wrong information. Is this possible?

I would really, really, like to get my site removed from your ‘bad’ list. It’s not nice to accuse someone as a spammer or scammer and pasting this information all over the web without even consulting the webmaster to see if they know of any potential problems with their site(s). I’ve never spent so much time on trying to resolve a single issue as I have with this.

Please someone, anyone, help me to clear this awful black mark off my site and me as webmaster as soon as possible.

I’m sorry to go on, but those who have experienced this ‘lack of support’ will understand the sheer frustration.

The site is question is: www mrroomfinder.com

Thanks in advance

Andy
92 Replies

RE: Getting Site Retested II



It's an impossible task to test websites manually.

SA found a problem on your site. Fix it, and then request for your site to be re-tested.

In my own experience it takes some time before e-mails are answered, but one of the SA team checks this forum regularly and I assue he will pop in after easter. Best bet is to respond to his thread next tuesday, and bring it back to our attention.
Reliable Contributor exbrit
Reliable Contributor
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Message 3 of 93

RE: Getting Site Retested II

I would be asking your webhost how come it links to St Petersburg, Russia, or the Republic of Panama, which is where that IP address appears to be depending on which part of the IP lookup one reads.

 

"When we tested this site we found links to 81.95.145.240, which we found breaches browser security on our test PC."

That appears to be the only weak link in the chain as everything else checks out fine.
andii
Level 7
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Message 4 of 93

RE: Getting Site Retested II

Thanks for your response guys.

But the problem remains the same and that is the hosting have run tests on my site and reported that there are no links pointing to such an IP or sites. When i raise a support ticket with my hosting company, the response time is approximately 30 minutes 24/7, and that's a human response not an auto generated email informing me the request has been received.

As SA neither responds, or going by some of the posts, takes weeks to respond if you're lucky, to an URGENT request from a webmaster, then obviously I would trust the word of my hosting company who respond and act promptly, rather than that of a company who doesn't seem to have any kind of support policy in place. I say again, these reports can damage the web credibility of a site and its owner, and so are very serious issues to genuine 'white hat' webmasters.

 

SA does not say that a site is dangerous. The wording is more cautious, it implies the site is potentially dangerous. SA is there to make the visitor more aware of his actions while visiting a website.


Dangerous or potentially dangerous means the same thing to a web surfer who can simply skip your site and go to a competing one!

 

Websites are tested automatically.


I find this interesting. So if sites are tested automatically, why then aren't they retested automatically on periodic basis too? This would certainly keep the SA data more current and therefore more accurate.

 

In my own experience it takes some time before e-mails are answered, but one of the SA team checks this forum regularly and I assue he will pop in after easter. Best bet is to respond to his thread next tuesday, and bring it back to our attention.


And so the saga continues! Now it's holidays getting in the way, perhaps another excuse is a backlog of re-test requests, lost emails, moved departments, broken forms, and understaffing ad infinitum. Surly if the service can't be supported it should be withdrawn until such times that it can! Does that make sense to anyone other than me?

The right thing to do would be to at least inform folks why there is such a delay or potential deny of support. Or just let them know of the anticipated time duration for each and every request. Even that could be done via automated email which could easily be tweaked during the peaks and dips of workload!

I still have no idea how any company can legally plaster damaging reports all over the world wide web about other people's websites. It certainly wouldn't be allowed in the Bricks and Mortar world! What's in it for McAfee anyway?

Ok, enough said, as it's taking even more time as i become more disgruntled over this issue. Or perhaps i shouldn't be disgruntled about a damaging report that has been sitting there about my 3 year old beautiful and costly web project since September 2007. Maybe i should focus my frustration on the hosting company and put the trust of SA above that of my hosting.

I hope something will be done about this soon. I certainly have a huge log now on the avenues and time taken thus far in an attempt to get some human help on the issue. It also seems a little odd to have to come to a forum when SA has it's own online support forms, but as they don't work, this place seems the only option left. If this doesn't work, then i don't know what my next move shall be, if indeed there is one.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can assist with this issue.

Andy
Raja
Level 9
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Message 5 of 93

RE: Getting Site Retested II

I just looked through the database and there is no record for anyone leaving feedback regarding mrroomfinder.com. Please leave feedback using this form, http://www.siteadvisor.com/userfeedback.html

Use "Request rating information". Normally you should receive feedback withing 72 hours. Given the holidays, I would expect by the end of the week.

If you don't receive a response from SA team by the end of the week, please let me know on this thread.
andii
Level 7
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Message 6 of 93

RE: Getting Site Retested II

Hi Raja and thanks for your response.

I actually submitted the site for a retest using the online form, plus submitted emails to both techsupport@ and support@ mcafee. As you can see from the original post, I also contacted live online support a few times and got mainly auto-selected prewritten polite replies to most of my questions, but no resolve. In addition, I successfully added some site owner comments which don’t seem to have been picked up by anyone. They are still there under my login at: http://user.siteadvisor.com/forums/websiteOwnerVerification.php

I know it sounds like I’m having a pop a McAfee Site Advisor, but if anyone from the SA team dedicated over 3 years and quite a considerable amount of money building a nice web project for a local market which suddenly got reported to the virtual world as being a bad neighbourhood to visit, then I’m certain those affected would be concerned and frustrated too. It really can be quite damaging as it makes me look like some kind of scammer that cannot be trusted, and this just isn’t true!


Ok, I will do this now, but as I have already used this particular form to ‘Report an Error’, and ‘Submit a site for (re)testing’, then I don’t honestly expect a response and anticipate having to continue with this sage at the week’s end. After all, this form hasn’t worked in the past week, nor did I get a response after contacting SA months ago when the site was first flagged as one which linked to a site loaded with Trojans.

I still don’t think McAfee fully understand the damage they can do to a site and its webmaster’s online reputation by testing these projects and flagging them as potentially harmful to visitors. As I’m sure the SA team is well aware, sometimes, some sites get infected without the knowledge of the owner, and so perhaps SA should have a faster and more functional support for genuine webmasters who are desperate to clean their site(s) and disassociate their names from such damage. In my case, i don't even believe the SA report is accurate, because if my Hosting have ran tests and reported the site as being clean, then it must be clean, mustn't it?

Thanks once again for your response, and i look forward to the resolve.

Andy

My site is not a danger to anyone

andii ... you are not alone. I have spent months trying to get an erroneous SiteAdvisory warning removed from my site [URL="http://www.yarraboy.com"] and cannot even get the courtesy of a reply. I have tried posting to their blog but the comments are never approved. I have submitted technical data from independent sources to show the site is legitimate and clean. But still the warning exists. I am losing business and possible clients are being frightened by this red alert. I have posted owner's comments, emailed McAfee - but nothing happens. I agree, it is restraint of trade and possibly illegal for McAfee to post false warnings. What can be done?:eek:
andii
Level 7
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Message 8 of 93

RE: Getting Site Retested II

I might be wrong here tullolad, but the BBC IT program ‘Click’ reported a while back that Google was working with another company to also identify websites which either linked to so called bad neighbourhoods or had bad code on their pages. When they found 'suspicious sites', Google would put a warning message above those pages in their search results telling the users of Google Search that visiting the website could cause harm to their computer, or some similar wording. With a warning like that for those who rely heavily on SE traffic , well, you might as well shut shop and close the site down if you can't get the warning removed pronto.

The difference between this and McAfee is that you don’t need FF or a plugin to see these warnings, and the BBC reported that once flagged, it was not always an easy process to get these black marks removed, even if your site was squeaky clean.

What confuses me is who are these people and how can they get authorisation to do what they do? Where do they get the authority to police the internet and expose the worlds websites to the world?

Although marking websites as potentially harmful to visitors is a good thing in theory, I wonder how many innocent webmasters and their projects get damaged in the process? Even secure government sites get hacked and hijacked from time to time, so of course every little white hat webmaster is vulnerable to attacks periodically, and sometimes to their unawares. If anything, lets see a system which notifies webmasters when their sites are identified as being in danger, and not just reporting their projects to the world and his brother as something to avoid!

How Accurate and Fair are these Tests

Earlier this morning, I was searching on Google.co.uk for Earth Shoes, as I wanted to know more about this innovative footwear. On page 1, No. 3 & 4 on the search results, there is a URL for Earth shoes at wal mart. Both these have the McAfee SiteAdvisor green tick of approval saying, on mouseover, We've tested this site and found no significant problems.

When opening the site I’m presented with images of hardcore c*cks and p*ssy and absolutely nothing on Earth Shoes at all. Go figure! I’m assuming there must be millions of sites flagged as ‘good’ which are in fact ‘bad’, just as there are clean sites which get the stubborn red mark. It goes to show how unreliable it all is.

So my argument remains the same which is both the Google warnings, and the McAfee testing can prove to be inaccurate, damaging, and grossly unfair, and until they can get a fast and impartial support system in place for genuine white hatters, they should ditch their reporting without further delay, IMHO.

Those who are involved on the wrong side of spyware, malware, viruses and malicious online attacks would never expose themselves, let alone spend time and effort in an attempt to clean up a phishing website, or other such scams they have going on.

I just hope that McAfee SA will get around to cleaning my and other innocent sites up without further delay, and if they take user feedback seriously, then perhaps they might be able to look at what they do a little more closely and try to fine tune it to be a more useful and efficient service (if that’s the right word) in the future.

I'll keep the forum posted on any progress with mr roomfinder. Good luck too tullolad 🙂

Cheers

Andy

RE: Getting Site Retested II

Well said, Andy.
It's good to get one's site acknowledged as clean but I'm beginning to think - as you intimate - that it might be better to do without such vetting programs and leave it to malware, spyware and such to keep our systems virus-free.
What is angering as me as much as the erroneous flag, is the total lack of response from McAfee. Hey, is there anyone out there? Does McAfee exist? Who are these people who take it upon themselves to say whether a site is good or bad and then hide behind a vast cyber wall of anonymity?
I fail to see why my perfectly legitimate, non-porn, non-con, non-phishing website can be given a red flag by some faceless person out there in cyberspace ... and deter potential clients from visiting it
Surely something can be done. How many pleas for an answer and action can one person make?
Cheers, Tony:mad:

RE: Getting Site Retested II



SA does not flag a website as 'bad' according to the content. It only cares about whether a site is potentially malicious (tries to infect your machine, etc)

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