Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Malicious Site Notice

MOM

I'm taking over the blog today to tell you all about a problem we're having. Recently I updated our Norton anti-virus/computer security program and now certain blogs I read regularly are being blocked as being "malicious". Of course I know these blogs aren't deliberately malicious, but Norton is finding code on them it doesn't like.

The problem first appeared on Skeeter, LC & Ayla's blog, and now Norton is blocking Skeezix and Samantha & Mr. Tigger too. I clicked through on each of my sidebar links and, so far, no one else's page is having the problem.

I've notified the owners of the above blogs about this and in working with Skeeter, LC's & Ayla's Big Thing, we think we narrowed the problem down to this. He had downloaded something from a site called www.widgetserver.com. Norton blocks code from widgetserver as malicious and won't allow your page to open if it finds it. After The Big Thing removed the offending code from his template, his page opens just fine.

I can't be the only cat blogger running the newest Norton program on my computer, but I may be the only one notifying you about the problem. So I'm writing to say, be careful about what you download and don't take anything from www.widgetserver.com. If you took something from them such as a countdown clock, get rid of it and replace it with a safe one from another site. We all work too hard on our blogs, don't want to turn away readers and certainly don't want to risk infecting our computers with worms or viruses.

Norton offers a free scan of your computer and if it finds anything, it tells you how to get rid of it. There is no obligation to buy anything. Go here. It will only run on IE, not another browser such as Firefox.

If I can be of help to any of you, please email me.

32 Comments:

At November 19, 2008 5:23 AM, Blogger Eric and Flynn said...

Ah, found it. We don't think we have anything from widget server but we are going to check. We used to have Norton but changed because we were getting problems with it conflicting with AOL on a lot of stuff.
Thanks for the info.

 
At November 19, 2008 6:00 AM, Blogger jenianddean said...

Thanks for letting us know...
--Jasper

 
At November 19, 2008 6:03 AM, Blogger ZOOLATRY said...

Thanks for the great info; when it comes to the internet and protecting our computers -- we can't do enough. And downloading stuff always raises issues...

 
At November 19, 2008 6:41 AM, Blogger Sweet Praline said...

Thanks for letting us know. I have checked and nothing I have is from widget server, but I hope someone would let me know if they have problems with my sight. I am still new to this blogging stuff.

 
At November 19, 2008 6:46 AM, Blogger DEBRA said...

Thanks for letting us know. We have had problems loading Samantha and Tigger site as well as Parker. IT sticks is the best way I can describe it. I figured it was me -- wow you're right about downloading stuff. But how in the world can you tell until you've done it what's safe and what isn't?

Abby's Mom

 
At November 19, 2008 6:59 AM, Blogger Dana said...

Wow!Thanks for the info!
~The Creek Cats~

 
At November 19, 2008 6:59 AM, Blogger Everycat said...

Thanks for posting that information. We will make sure we keep clear of Widgetserver.

Whicky

 
At November 19, 2008 7:09 AM, Blogger Sukie said...

Thanks for that link. The scan wouldn't complete for me though :O( Still, I don't use anything from Widgetserver.

Purrs, Sukie x

 
At November 19, 2008 8:58 AM, Blogger Spooky said...

Thanks for the info. Treater and Napper both run Norton, but they're very unhappy with the latest updates. They are MAD at Norton. However, I'll tell Treater to keep away from that widgetserver, too.

 
At November 19, 2008 9:07 AM, Blogger Karen Zemek, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

Great information--I will make a mental note not to ever use anything from widgetserver.com

 
At November 19, 2008 9:14 AM, Blogger catsynth said...

Thanks for letting us know about this. We're going to deploy our new CatSynth site soon (after our recent attack), and it's going to be much cleaner in terms of software.

 
At November 19, 2008 9:44 AM, Blogger Queen Snickers and Empress said...

Thanks for that important info! We will check ours out on daddy's computer later! We don't have IE on our lappy top. We Mac :)

 
At November 19, 2008 10:03 AM, Blogger Rascal said...

This is why my Mom uses Ubuntu Linux. She got fed up with Norton, Windows, anti-spyware, updating..... well you get the idea. She loves Ubuntu. I hope you can resolve this soon.

 
At November 19, 2008 10:09 AM, Blogger ML said...

Fanks fur tha wonnerful info.
KC

 
At November 19, 2008 10:24 AM, Blogger Jan's Funny Farm said...

Thanks for this very good information. We all need to be reminded occasionally.

A few months ago some bloggers had their sites hijacked by ads after downloading a particular widget. Some of these fun widgets turn out to be not so fun -- even malicious -- and they do slow down the loading time for visitors.

Very helpful post.

 
At November 19, 2008 10:28 AM, Blogger Mickey said...

Funny you mention this. Lately,I have been getting e-mails from places like that wanting me to get widgets etc. That could be where some of these problems are coming from.
Unsolicited e-mails are usually trolls or not friendly.
Thanks for the info . I think I will just keep deleting those e-mails!

 
At November 19, 2008 11:06 AM, Blogger PB 'n J said...

Thanks for all the info - we'll be sure to check everything and make sure we're ok. We'd hate not to be able to visit friends or have them visit us!

 
At November 19, 2008 11:21 AM, Blogger The Meezers said...

ooo thank you MrsCrew'sMom! great information!

 
At November 19, 2008 11:32 AM, Blogger Dr Tweety of da Fab Five said...

I wonderz if dis iz why I cannots Meemsync & a couple of otherxz in my bloggie roll. I yam gonna gets da momee to chex az soon az she gets home frum workie. Tanks to your momee.
-Dr T
(PS: Da Delilah lovez bein' "face twinzez" wit Tipper!!!)

 
At November 19, 2008 11:41 AM, Blogger Zippy, Sadie and Speedy said...

Dat widget server place prolly haf adware code in it...Norton hates adware code, but mom sez it hates all kindsa stuff and sometimes she hasta tell Norton to stop being so anal retentive.

 
At November 19, 2008 11:59 AM, Blogger mog said...

Thanks for the info. It serves as another reason I don't use Norton or Windows. It's OS X for me. I love my Mac :)

And I don't use many widgets on my site.

 
At November 19, 2008 12:27 PM, Blogger Victor Tabbycat said...

Fanks fur the info! We use the Foxy browser a squillion % of the time an McAfee SiteAdvisor. Mom's furiends in IT recommend it. An we has Norton AV on Mom's werk an home puters, but it hasn't stopped us frum browsin.

Mom's puter werks much better since she upgraded the boy's puter an got him offa hers. We's lookin fur sum Anti-teenager purtection software.
Purrs

 
At November 19, 2008 2:06 PM, Blogger Kimo & Sabi said...

Fanks fer da heads up!

 
At November 19, 2008 2:44 PM, Blogger Samantha and Mr. Tigger said...

We took the countdown clock off of our page!! Please let us know if you are still having problems!! Thanks!
Samantha & Mr. Tigger! Our countdown clock now is Mom and she manually changes the date on our picture everyday!!
Your FL furiends,

 
At November 19, 2008 3:34 PM, Blogger Aoise said...

Very useful information. Widgets are to be avoided !!

 
At November 19, 2008 3:50 PM, Blogger JB's Big World said...

I don't think we have anything from widgetserver....hopefully my blogs are ok. Thanks for letting us all know about this!
--JB

 
At November 19, 2008 5:55 PM, Blogger Derby said...

I haven't had any problems seeing any blogs. Skeezix the rest come through. I use Firefox, not IE. The only thing is that some take waaaay to long to load.

Mum says we have Norton too. No issues dude.

 
At November 19, 2008 6:17 PM, Blogger The Cat Realm said...

I think we might try to switch to ubuntu linux too! Our maid is just not sure if she is computer literate enough to do it, hahahahahahaha!
Thank you for letting us know - another problem site is sitemeter - they hijacked our blog a while ago and nothing but advertisement would show up!
You always have to be careful to put anything with script on your blog!
No we have to go and check that we don;t have anything form that widgetserver!

 
At November 19, 2008 6:18 PM, Blogger The Cat Realm said...

By the way: we use Kaspersky for anti virus etc. protection and are very satisfied!

 
At November 19, 2008 6:22 PM, Blogger Skeeter, LC, and Ayla said...

We are glad that us taking the widgetserver countdown clocks offa our bloggie solved yer access problem. We'll get other clocks somewhere else.

But we sure are curious. We had the widgetserver clocks on our bloggie fer LOTS of months wif no problems.

However, just afore you told us you were hafin a problem, we noticed the clocks stopped showing up in our sidebar. So we suspect widgetserver tried ta do something sneaky (that doesnt werk on our Mac) a coupla weeks ago, an Norton CAUGHT them at it on your puter!

 
At November 19, 2008 8:59 PM, Blogger Fin said...

Very nice public service annoucement!!

 
At November 19, 2008 11:00 PM, Blogger Cheysuli and gemini said...

It's possible someone hacked into the widget server code and tried to place something nasty into it.

We didn't get anything from our Norton, but like Skeeter's family we are Mac family--and things like that normally just cause our browser window to crash.

 

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