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How to remove StopBadware
I've noticed a few websites I try to visit being blocked. StopBadware does not give details on what "badware" was found, when, or offer any proof that anything was found at any time. They're anonymous, untouchable, and just say, "Trust us, don't visit this site". In our courts, the accused are allowed to face their accuser, but not in the court of the internet apparently.
Basically it is just a vigilante organization (funded by George Soros) that seeks to "protect people". Too much autonomy, not NEARLY enough transparency, and no accountability at all.
If they wanted to help, they'd report the "badware" to a consortium of anti-virus companies. This would help anti-virus software adapt to threats, and give consumers a way to know which were doing it most effectively. Also, the person browsing the "suspected" site should be told what the badware was, if it was reported by one or more individuals, or by a scan, what the rate of false positive reports are for that scan, and what is known about the badware in terms of impact. If coordinated with the above effort, a list of anti-virus titles that claims to address the badware should be available.
I understand why Mozilla would want to utilize a system that does what StopBadware claims is it's mission, but making it mandatory is a really bad idea in light of the potential negative impact and potential for abuse or misuse.
How do I remove/stop it, or failing that, does anyone have a good browser recommendation? Hopefully one that has not chosen such a "Big Brother" ham-handed approach.
Also, is there a list of all the sites StopBadware is blocking? I'd like to run Returnil and go looking for all the info George is afraid of.
All Replies (5)
While your frustration is understandable, I think you may be misunderstanding the process a bit. We, StopBadware, do not block websites; nor do we issue warnings about badware websites. Our data providers, such as Google, scan for badware activity using automated systems. When badware activity is detected, Google issues a badware warning about the site in order to protect their customers. Google may also choose to share this information with other organizations, who may issue warnings of their own.
StopBadware provides objective educational content when a user tries to visit a badware site, and helps webmasters to remove the badware warnings issued by our data providers. We also maintain a Badware Website Clearinghouse, in which a user or webmaster may search for a website to see if it is listed by our data providers as having badware activity. You can search for badware sites at http://stopbadware.org/home/reportsearch. When the results come up, provided there are any, you can click on the domain name and see Google's Safebrowsing results, which include the date badware was detected and other specific information about the website.
It seems that you're upset about a perceived lack of due process here; that's where StopBadware comes in. We maintain an online forum so webmasters can ask a community of individuals, IT professionals, and webmasters for help, particularly in finding malware on specific websites. We also provide (free) independent website reviews, so webmasters can appeal our data providers' badware warnings.
In answer to a few of your other complaints: We do work with a network of companies, institutions, and individuals to map threats and analyze current badware issues and trends. We often address these issues on our blog, and our online community, BadwareBusters.org, is also a rich resource for professionals, website owners, and users. And to answer how you 'remove' StopBadware, I think what you're referring to is Firefox's built-in protective feature that warns a user when he or she is about to visit a 'Reported attack site.' You do have the option to disable this feature, but please, be aware that this may expose you to badware infection! To disable Firefox's protective feature, please see http://stopbadware.org/home/faq#how_to_disable.
There's also quite a bit of information about us on our home page, along with a wealth of information for users about preventing and removing badware. I hope this helped--if you have any other questions about StopBadware, please feel free to e-mail us at contact (at) stopbadware.org.
Thank you very much for replying. First, I found the method for turning off the "warnings". I believe it's "block reported attack sites" under the Security tab. That Mozilla is using StopBadware, which is in turn hiding behind Google isn't "better". I visited the "reportsearch" link you provided, and it does not provide any details on the "badware" the site is supposedly carrying, or anything else that might help a user make an educated decision about visiting the site. The site does claim that StopBadware confirmed badware on the site, so there is no reason why the original warning cannot include more information to the end user. Can't we assume the exploit authors already know about their work?
While I understand what I hope the motivation for all this was, the site rejection was and is turned ON by default, and the user is not informed of how to turn it off the first time it is encountered. Expecting a website administrator to run himself ragged trying to prevent this, then suffering 90-days of rejections -- most of which probably occur long after the problem if it existed at all is resolved to Google's satisfaction is not reasonable. Unless I'm mistaken, you can hold the "prisoner" website in a virtual no access "cell" for 90 days. Is that "due process"? I will join the BadwareBusters site to see what information is available there, and thanks again for responding.
Don't you see the Ignore this warning link to proceed to the blocked web page, in the lower right corner of the box on those pages?
When you use that link the web page is allowed to load and there's a red bar at the top of the browser content area to submit This isn't an attack site or web forgery, so you can participate in letting Google know that you think that page is safe or that you trust it.
Also, this is nothing new, it's been a part of Firefox since Firefox 2 was released, just over 4 years ago.
StopBadWare.org is tangential to the process of identifying what's a forgery or attack web site and to the blocking those reported web sites. Google does the scanning of websites and provides the data to the Firefox browser and any other browser that participates in Google's SafeBrowsing program, and then Firefox (or other browser) does the blocking.
Please remove http://www.stopbadware.org/ from the internet NOW. This program itself is an attack site and should NOT be allowed on internet at all.
We, the users, don't want it. Please scrap it immediately.