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findshorty
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Client's website blocked by Virgin websafe. How to unblock?

My client isn't happy. Their website is blocked for no apparent reason for all VM users with Websafe turned on (I believe websafe is by default turned on?).

It is variously marked as either fraudulent or infected, or quite often no VM branded error at all but instead a "could not establish a secure connection to the server" message on Safari, or even sometimes simply a "The webpage is not available" message.

The website is not fraudulent, or unsafe, and I can find absolutely no reason for it to be blocked so comprehensively.

What do I have to do to get it unblocked?

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Re: Client's website blocked by Virgin websafe. How to unblock?

If you are a Virgin Media customer report it here Report a website otherwise emailing websafefeedback@​virginmedia.co.uk

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SCA1972
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Re: Client's website blocked by Virgin websafe. How to unblock?


@findshorty wrote:

My client isn't happy. Their website is blocked for no apparent reason for all VM users with Websafe turned on (I believe websafe is by default turned on?).

It is variously marked as either fraudulent or infected, or quite often no VM branded error at all but instead a "could not establish a secure connection to the server" message on Safari, or even sometimes simply a "The webpage is not available" message.

The website is not fraudulent, or unsafe, and I can find absolutely no reason for it to be blocked so comprehensively.

What do I have to do to get it unblocked?


@findshorty Yes Web Safe is turned on by default as that is the law.  The UK government has made all ISPs include parental controls and have them on by default to allegedly protect the children. 🙄

If the site is being marked as infected then that sounds more like Virus Safe which is a separate VM filter to Web Safe. Pedantic I know but accuracy is key in diagnosing an issue, which as a professional with clients I'm sure you already know.

The "could not establish a secure connection to the server" does not sound like a VM filtering block but an issue with the hosting server.  If the host server is not configured correctly to use https with an up to date security certificate you can get that error.

Have you used any of the various online resources to check and see if they are detecting any virus/malware issues with the site or if this is indeed just a VM issue?  Blocked would be a could place to start to see if any other UK ISP is blocking and if so, under which category:

https://www.blocked.org.uk/

Are we allowed to know the URL of the site in question so that we can independently verify the nature of the block?  We might be able to offer solutions.

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My setup: VM TV 360 box, M350 Fibre broadband with Hub 3 in modem mode connected to a Netgear R7000 router. Telewest/VM user since 2001.

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Re: CarpForum.co.uk IP address blocked?


@SCA1972 wrote:


@findshorty I agree that Web Safe is not fit for purpose, I don't think any of the UK parental filters are, but not for the reason you think.  They are compliance services that the UK government forced upon ISPs to present the impression they were doing something to protect kids.  The fact that most kids can bypass these filters with ease has been glossed over.

As for finding old posts with the same issue, that is not necessarily an indication that it is not fit for purpose.  All filters will occasionally flag sites incorrectly as they are automated systems looking for key words or patterns.  That is why they all have the ability to inform the operator that a site has been categorised incorrectly and they can then get the site reviewed by a human to check it. Not sure what work you do for your client but you don't seem very clued up on the way the web works IMHO.

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My setup: VM TV 360 box, M350 Fibre broadband with Hub 3 in modem mode connected to a Netgear R7000 router. Telewest/VM user since 2001.


Thank you for the patronising reply Scott. I've been a web developer for over 20 years. I'm well aware of how the web works, and I'm also well aware of when things aren't quite right.

My tests have shown that while the domain IS blocked by Web Safe (confirmed by blocked.org), there is generally (9 times out of 10) no branded page informing the user that it has been and therefore no opportunity to notify us, or VM, that the site is not functioning. There is also no feature in Web Safe that informs any site owners automatically that their site has been blocked, so I have no idea how long this block has been in operation, or how many potential customers have been lost.

No other ISP has this issue, no other filters block the site - there really is no reason to given the site's function.

All certificates are valid and in place. No user generated content is stored or displayed on the site. No malware is present, no external videos, no external imagery. The only external scripts that are used are from trusted CDNs and obviously analytics type stuff, and we use Adobe typekit for webfonts.

My main issue is that no detail is offered at all as to why the site is blocked. The reply from the Web Safe Feedback team was "site is listed as hosting malware". Well that's useful. Tell me the details!

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Re: Client's website blocked by Virgin websafe. How to unblock?

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Re: Client's website blocked by Virgin websafe. How to unblock?

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Re: CarpForum.co.uk IP address blocked?


@findshorty wrote:
<snip>

My main issue is that no detail is offered at all as to why the site is blocked. The reply from the Web Safe Feedback team was "site is listed as hosting malware". Well that's useful. Tell me the details!


The results from this site

https://www.ssltrust.co.uk/ssl-tools/website-security-check

frequently match up when VM is blocking a site. Putting in your domain name nurture<snipped>ing.com

returns entries from 5 different organisations for malware/spam when I have tried it just now (as does your own link at #5 which I have also just clicked)

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Re: Client's website blocked by Virgin websafe. How to unblock?

As you didn't take my hint about replying on your own thread, and the issue in the other thread is resolved, I have moved your post above to this thread.


@findshorty wrote:

https://www.virustotal.com/gui/url/b75031bb7eef302614dd3cd8e1d9dfccf484209733492c613db1d530ac12057d/...

 


Not a good start 5 security vendors are detecting malware:

security vendors.jpg

You might want to ask the likes of Bitdefender what malware they think they are detecting on the site.

Based on my experience with VM, they may not know what the alleged malware is on the site.  They will almost certainly be getting advice from a third party, like Bitdefender or Akamai.  I know they defiantly use Akamai's services.

Posting lots of negative results will not outweigh the positive results if VM get their security advice / black lists from one of the companies that is flagging your site as having malware.

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Re: Client's website blocked by Virgin websafe. How to unblock?

Thank you for the patronising reply Scott. I've been a web developer for over 20 years. I'm well aware of how the web works, and I'm also well aware of when things aren't quite right.

You are welcome Shorty. We get a lot of professionals on here with many years experience, but that doesn't necessarily equate to knowledge.  I work with folks who are ten years older than me with ten years more "experience" and you certainly wouldn't know it. 😀

My tests have shown that while the domain IS blocked by Web Safe (confirmed by blocked.org), there is generally (9 times out of 10) no branded page informing the user that it has been and therefore no opportunity to notify us, or VM, that the site is not functioning. There is also no feature in Web Safe that informs any site owners automatically that their site has been blocked, so I have no idea how long this block has been in operation, or how many potential customers have been lost.

I'm not aware of any filtering service that proactively informs blocked sites that they have been blocked. I am not sure such a system would be practical.  Domain contacts can be the hosting company not the site owner. I would say the onus is on the owners of web sites to check their sites for issues like this.

My main issue is that no detail is offered at all as to why the site is blocked. The reply from the Web Safe Feedback team was "site is listed as hosting malware". Well that's useful. Tell me the details!


VM have an in house security team, but a lot of this sort of security relies on information from third party companies that may just give VM a list of sites to block and a category of malware/virus/etc and provide no details.  Not great I know, but they can't give you information that they don't have.

You have at least five security vendors flagging the site as having malware, so I'd suggest you try and contact them to resolve this, starting with BitDefender who appear to be the biggest on the list.  If no vendors are flagging the site I'm sure VM will stop blocking it.

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Re: CarpForum.co.uk IP address blocked?


@findshorty wrote:

@SCA1972 wrote:




My tests have shown that while the domain IS blocked by Web Safe (confirmed by blocked.org), there is generally (9 times out of 10) no branded page informing the user that it has been and therefore no opportunity to notify us, or VM, that the site is not functioning.

To display a branded error page redirection is required to Child Safe or Virus Safe web page which browsers will allow for unauthenticated connection but not when connecting to an authenticated connection, i.e. connect via HTTP and branded block page will be shown but via HTTPS your browser shows a secure connection error.