On Google’s Malware List

A week or so ago, I got an email from a friend:

????????Just in case you haven’t noticed this yet, Google links to jay.shao.org now include warnings about malware:

Jason E. Shao » Blog Archive » Sakai SVN Vendor Branch Outcome
This site may harm your computer.

Jul 17, 2007 … Soo… yesterday I completed my 2.3.1 Sakai vendor branch merge, … I had to use the trunk version of svn_load_dirs.pl and patch it — see Bug …

jay.shao.org/archives/2007/07/17/sakai-svn-vendor-branch-outcome – Similar pages – Note this

The best kind of warnings are the ones you get about something you’re aware of, trying to fix, and hoping no one will notice. In this case, working through the baroque malware site removal process. How did I get dragged into it? Well…

I didn’t actually notice until I browsed to my blog using Firefox 3 (been my default browser for a while now — I really like Safari too, but Firefox 3 is not you’re daddy’s Mac Firefox) and got slammed with a really obnoxious error message noting that the site was suspected of malware. The page looks a lot like the kind you get nowadays when you visit a site with a self-signed certificate, except there was no way to dismiss it (but use Safari…). About the same time, I noticed that Google search results included the note referenced above. So, naturally I read in a bit to try and figure out how to get rid of it. Well…

1. Visit stopmalware.org
2. Read a pretty long written description
3. Find no way to identify what triggered the malware warning on *my* site
4. Submit a request to re-examine to try and get some contact.
5. twiddle…
6. Get a message back identifying a single problem with the site
7. Fix said problem (bad iFrame, possibly copy & pasted)
8. Submit a 2nd request to re-examine
9. twiddle…
10. Get another message back identifying a different, specific problem (not mentioned the first time)
11. Fix said problem
12. Submit a 3rd request to re-examine
13. twiddle…
14. exoneration (no notification though) all is well with the web

So, aside from my personal irritation at this process I thought I’d add some mentions based upon some customer service observations:

* not being able to find out what you did wrong is really irritating
* not being able to find out *all* the things you did wrong makes it worse
* internet accessing processes that require real-people time makes them feel really frustrating