Saturday, January 9, 2010

Important: Please Read! And Update Too

A kind reader has just let me know that when he visited Kitchen Retro recently there was some malware on one of the widgets. I am trying to fix this as quickly as I can and I really hope that no one else has has this problem. I am taking some of the widgets off the blog and am going to try to clean things up and find out what's going on. My apologies to anyone who has had to deal with this and I'll keep you as updated as possible...

UPDATE: I have just taken Statcounter off my sites, because I just ran a virus check on my computer and boy, was there a lot of malware coming from Statcounter - which I only just put on my sites a couple of weeks ago. Never again! Am going to keep checking but - fingers crossed - this may well have been the problem.

I've also cleaned my own computer of some malware stuff and put various ad and flash block add-ons onto Firefox. I will do more of this as I go, but am cleaned up as far as I can go, for now.

I am also thinking that maybe the malware came via an Entrecard blog. That is totally possible, as many people have had this problem in the past. Therefore, I will be limiting my EC drops in future (there's a time element there, too, as you EC people know!) - I realize that this won't necessarily solve the problem but should make things safer all around. I was returning everyone's drops (as much as I could) but in the light of this issue that is not a good idea. If anyone on EC has advice on dealing with malware I'd be grateful to hear it. Am going to continue to monitor things and if you do have a problem please let me know (and apologies, as I've said, in advance).

ANOTHER UPDATE: I've put the Ad Block, Flash Block and No Script add-ons on and also something Firefox has called Web of Trust (WOT). Been on a bunch of news sites and blogs, everything checked out with the little WOT icon. BUT when I went to Entrecard it was yellow and rated it "Unsatisfactory"!! So I got off of there. I would like to e mail them but do not want to get back on the site. Just want to let people know - I mean, I never heard of WOT before today but it did not like the EC dashboard at all. Anyone have any experience with this?

16 comments:

The Crazy Suburban Mom said...

I sent you an email

Barbara said...

I never click on anything but your stuff, so I think I'm good. Those widgets are devils!!
__
Barbara
http://ifididnthaveasenseofhumor.blogspot.com

Lidian said...

Tracy- Thanks!

Barbara - Thank you, I am just beginning to realize how pernicious widgets are.

Tori Lennox said...

For what it's worth, your page loads a lot faster now too. :)

Amy said...

Well as you know I removed myself from EC, not because of virus issues but more because I dont' have time for it but have you tried feedjit? It's way better than stat counter.

Lidian said...

Tori - Oh, good. I was hoping that that would be a side benefit :)

Amy - Thanks, I might have a look at that. And I think I'll be scaling back my drops, I like EC for keeping in touch with people but will be a LOT mor careful about drops.

Janiss said...

Were you running the visible version of Statcounter? I have the invisible version on Sparkle's site, and it shouldn't have any ads or malware associated with it at all. Are you using a different stat counter now, or just Google Analytics?

Although widgets seem to be a great tool, I've always gotten the feeling that they're a landmine and probably open up blogs to potential hackers and malware. I try to be smart and cautious when adding them to my blog.

As for EC, I only joined about a month ago. Right now, I'm dropping a lot because I'm building up a base of regular EC blogs that I enjoy visiting and vice versa. (BTW, I LOVE your blogs and while I don't comment - usually because I have nothing worthwhile to add - I enjoy your posts!) Once I feel I have a nice community of people/ cats/ blogs, I will be dropping a lot less than I am now and mainly visiting my favorites.

FishHawk said...

I just checked some things both here and Virtual Dime, and nothing set off any BitDefender alarms. I hope the problem has been solved.

Since you are obviously a lot more technically-capable than I am (who isn't?), you probably won't have any problem with the Firefox Adblocker add-on, but the first time I tried it, nothing got blocked, and then the second time I tried it, EVERYTHING got blocked--even the Entrecard and Adgitize widgets!

I have also tried WOT add-on, and I removed it after it became more trouble than it was worth to me. For to the extent of my understanding, it is based upon mostly (if not completely) member opinions, and if enough people reported it, this site could be marked with at least a warning label just because of what has recently happened, which was not your fault at all. The Entrecard dashboard page serves as a great example of this. For it has been labeled by that warning when it is not really the source of any malware that I have been made aware of. Of course, my mom used to call me, "Gullible," a lot.

Lidian said...

Janiss - It was the invisible version, but when I ran Spybot it picked up 15 items from Statcounter so I thought, aha, get them right off all my blogs! And welcome to EC, it is great but there are a lot of iffy sites there...

FishHawk - Thanks so much for doing a double-check for me, I really appreciate that. I may remove WOT, given what your experience was. I just was not sure what to think...

Staci said...

WOT has been saying EC is a yellow site (a site to use caution with) for some time. I don't know how reliable all the ratings are since I think users can add to the ratings so, theoretically, some ticked off users could skew the results. For instance, the Izea blog has had a red circle next to it for weeks, and I have never had the first problem with it. I think someone might have had a post rejected in Social Spark or PPP and rated them poorly.

With the exception of Izea, I try to stay away from all red sites. I haven't had the kind of trouble FishHawk has with WOT, but maybe it's because I stay away from the reds and most of the yellows. Better safe than sorry.

Sheila said...

Are you sure about Statcounter? I've used it for two years now without any problems at all. It might be worth talking to their support people who have always responded to any of my queries quickly and helpfully.

Lidian said...

Staci - Thanks, it is good to hear about what sort of experiences people have had with WOT. I'll keep an eye on it and see how it goes...

Sheila - Well, I thought it was a good site too, but it came up on Spybot with 15 malwares found, which seems suspect to me. So I thought I'd just play it safe..

Bill said...

UGH! The retro 1960's Family didn't have to worry about this crap. Of course, they had chain letters to deal with; I remember how disgusted my mother would be when one arrived in the mail, but at least they didn't blow up the mailbox at the end of our driveway.

Jennifer said...

I've been using Statcounter for a while now and don't think I have any problems, but this post worries me ... I'll have to check and see (also use a Mac and Mac-only software to do my blog, which may make a difference).

And Entrecard -- oh, Entrecard. How I love you and throw up my hands at the same time.

Glad things are fixed. They seem to be, at least.

Lidian said...

Jennifer - Well, who knows about Statcounter - I just wanted to be sure. And yes, I agree totally about EC. Am staying, but being really careful! Things do seem OK now, thankfully.

Lidian said...

Bill - I remember those chain letters! They used to worry me a whole lot, but not like this, of course.