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BC Canuck

[Resolved] Norton Firewall-Anti-Virus Blocking Simtropolis website

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Has anyone else been having this problem today?  I can't get past Norton's Safe Site hardware, even when I turn off the auto protect.  How do I instruct them this is a safe website.  This started out of the blue!!!:angry:

Does anyone know how to fix this?  Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

I get this message:

You attempted to access:

http://community.simtropolis.com/forums/

This is a known dangerous website. It is recommended that you do NOT visit this site. The detailed report explains the security risks on this site.

For your protection, this web page has been blocked. Visit Symantec to learn more about phishing and internet security.

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Posted (edited)

Hi there,

I've forwarded this to Dirk for investigation. It'll need a request submitting for them to re-evaluate the rating.

From all indication and after checking the file with a VirusTotal scan, this is a false positive. In the past similar reports have emerged on files which use installer executables, and they've also been mistaken by virus scanners. It also happened fairly recently over at SC4Devotion. This really is a extreme measure to blacklist an entire site, when there's just one instance detected of what it regards as a 'suspicious' file.

There was some good discussion about Norton and false positives in this thread. Really it's due to the make-up of these installers, rather than their contents.

The blocking would be done by the Norton Security Toolbar, which is optionally installed to browsers independently of the suite itself.


Apologies for the inconvenience and alarm this may have caused. We'll keep you posted.


  Edited by Cyclone Boom  

Topic moved to ST Related.

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  • Original Poster
  • Thanks Cyclone Boom for the response.  When installing files I usually have to turn off Norton as it never seems to like those file installers!!  Surely that's not the only reason the entire site has been blocked.*:???:

    However this is the worst of the worst. 

    I can't even navigate through the site.   I had to click on the "visit this site anyway" a few times to even respond to you.  Good Grief.   I have Firefox set up to allow Simtropolis as this had been a problem in the past,so that is ok at least.

    Hope this can be solved quickly.

    BC Canuck/Carol

     

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    18 minutes ago, BC Canuck said:

    Surely that's not the only reason the entire site has been blocked.*:???:

    According to the report, I'm afraid so:

    Norton ST Warning 020717.jpg

    :noway:

     

    18 minutes ago, BC Canuck said:

    I can't even navigate through the site.   I had to click on the "visit this site anyway" a few times to even respond to you.

    In the Firefox Add-ons Manager (Ctrl+Shift+A), you may wish to disable the Norton Toolbar. This would prevent pages being blocked in the meantime.

    However, bear in mind this will also be effective for all sites visited. From experience of using Norton myself, unfortunately I don't believe there's a way to add a specific site to an ignore whitelist. Or at least for the toolbar which checks their Safe Web database.

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  • Original Poster
  • Grrrrrrrr  Norton must be really paranoid now what with the two global cyber attacks in the past couple of months :meh:

    Due dilegence indeed!

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    On 03/07/2017 at 2:54 AM, BC Canuck said:

    Grrrrrrrr  Norton must be really paranoid now what with the two global cyber attacks in the past couple of months :meh:

    No, most likely they are just being stupid, because rather than checking their facts, they are making assumptions. Norton is not actually a very good piece of software, and things like relying upon lazy blacklisting is one of the key reasons why it will fail to protect you when a real threat comes along.

    Of course, many people see these alerts and think *phew*, thanks Norton, you saved me there. When in reality, it's just programmed to be as dumb as a bucket of shrimp. Save your money, switch to a free solution, they are almost always just as good at protecting you. More importantly, keep Windows, your browser and other software up to date to remain protected. Most paid AV software is simply a waste of money.

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  • Original Poster
  • Hello @rsc204

    Well gee you left that hanging there with the "free" suggestion.*:D

    I'm always open to "free" however not having enough knowledge about what is available/reliable and what is really secure etc etc. no idea what to look for.

    Do you work in the computer industry?  You always sound knowledgeable.  If you know something better, I'm open to suggestions.

    And yes I always keep everything updated and very little is on my hard drive in any case.  I have back ups for the back ups...I've worked with computers long enough to know you don't rely on hardware.

    My Norton package is due for renewal in September.

    Thanks in advance.

    PS:  I disable Norton while on the Simtropolis site; only way I can navigate.

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    3 minutes ago, BC Canuck said:

    Well gee you left that hanging there with the "free" suggestion.*:D

    I've seen him suggest Microsoft Security Essentials which comes with Windoze. I'm following that advice and it's my virus protection. Additionally in Firefox I use the Bluhell Firewall. Ofc, when @rsc204 gets here he can splain more. *;)

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    It's like asking which door lock is going to stop a burglar, the answer is none of them, especially if the burglar is armed with a brick! Securing your PC is about more than simply having antivirus/anti malware, although it's a sensible precaution to install one, just like everyone has a lock on their door. Just don't think of it as absolute security, anyone who is smart and persistent enough can break through any defences you care to put up. In reality though, few of these things target regular folks, there simply isn't any reward from the perspective of the bad guys. Its big business they are usually after, but of course there will always be unintended collateral damage or even those who just revel in "setting the world on fire".

    But the real solution is to be safe in the knowledge that if the worst did happen, you could wipe/restore your computer without loss of data. Statistically, this is more likely to be a problem from a failing hard drive or other event. Sure Malware is out there, but the reality is that for normal users, you don't need to be paranoid about it, just take some sensible precautions. That's an angle that Norton and other vendors love to push, paranoia, because it sells their products. But if I was writing a virus, one of the first things I'd check is that the most popular anti-virus suites couldn't detect it. Similar to the way most viruses are for Windows, some will tell you it's because Windows is full of issues and inferior, but that's bunk. Windows is used by the largest percentage of computers, so logically that's why it has the most viruses. Because the most popular/used software is always going to be the #1 target for ne'er do wells.

    I have worked in computing, but moreover I'm simply a long-time computer hobbyist going back (eek) over 25 years. Between the two and from countless times I've ended up in front of other peoples broken machines, you learn a few things. In the entire time I've used PCs, I've seen two viruses on my own equipment. One came from a floppy disk that was used in a networked machine in college which was infected (that network was like Swiss cheese from a security perspective). The other most likely from a drive-by download on a website (through the browser).

    But, I've seen plenty of them and most people who get infected are clicking on things they should not be clicking upon. Need me to wipe/system restore your PC, no problem, that'll take an hour or two, cost you 20-70€ depending on how well off you are and I'll just set it in motion and do a few minutes work. Need your data from that system, oh boy, this is going to get very, very expensive. One person's machine came to me riddled with malware, literally hundreds of separate infections. Because once one gets in, it opens the floodgates for others. It's like that burglar who smashed your window with the brick and took off with your TV. If you don't repair the window, you are going to slowly loose the entire contents of your house. That one took around 18 hours of work to clean and restore the data from the drive. Had I been charging a very reasonable 35€ an hour, that would have been 630€ to restore everything. You'd be lucky to find a shop/business here to do it for less than 100€ an hour too. Given this was about a 400-500€ PC, that's literally more expensive than replacing the machine in any case. I did this as a personal favour (i.e. free) and such jobs come under my "this once and never again" policy.

    Anyway, before I get into a thesis on the subject, I'll sum this up briefly...

    Having antivirus is a sensible step that I'd recommend everyone take. I'm happy with the Microsoft one because it's free, doesn't nag me to pay for an upgrade and for my purposes, has never let me down yet. That said, I run some PCs without one, because they don't contain data I care about and I can easily restore them if need be. Unless you get to the professional grade anti-virus, most consumer versions, free or otherwise are about the same from a protection standpoint. Most will allow infections to get through and are hopeless at removing them once they are there. Honestly, every machine I've ever seen with a virus, had anti-virus installed that failed to protect the system. So the real key lies in ensuring your data is safe, then if the worst happens, you'll just have to restore your system, annoying, but the lesser of two evils.

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    5 hours ago, rsc204 said:

    That's an angle that Norton and other vendors love to push, paranoia, because it sells their products.

    Actually fear is the very basic of all human feelings and working with fear is popular on many products - advertising AV isn't much diferent from politics (our economy is going to go to hell if you don't vote for me) from medical products (most people die from heart attack), insurances, cars, tooth brushes... lately Donald Trump even announced it's important for the security of the american people to have a 'safe outer space'. In total they create so much fear about everything that we poor individuals are permanently stressed as if we are living in an age of ongoing apocalypse. And the list of threats gets longer every day: from the plaque in between teeth a conventional toothbrush won't reach on to the forrest where evil snakes and spiders waiting for you and ... meteors! Meteors looking down on our poor helpless planet ready to attack at any time.

    Outside and inside - inside you are safe, all outside is evil.

    Regarding computer devices - one could think of making a difference of your home and your car.  Not using them for both at the same time. If we use metaphors - regarding the web your pc is more like a car you're driving through the traffic of a big city and from city to city (and your personal belongings always with you in the trunk - but why?). And you're the driver.  And there are many drivers and mostly it's the drivers causing accidents. And the airbag can prevent the worst but it can't give the safety of having no accident. There are too many stupid drivers on those streets, some agressive, some drunk and so on. You know, viruses may seem like self driving cars - but there's always a criminal mind behind them, a stupid driver. And AV can't block those drivers from driving. You can't prevent him from trying again and again in different ways until he succeeds and crashes into your trunk.

    AV like an airbag can't make the streets a safer place int this sense, can only protect what you carry around the world in your car. So to spent money on safety means to invest in a permanent armament. It's like a cold war - a spiral of advancing technology between attackers and defenders and you put your money into this war. 

    100 years from now - how much will we have to spent for internet security if it goes on this way? How much computer performance we will have to reserve checking algorithms for viruses, how many procedures we will have to go through until a website is confirmed to be 'safe'? Some years ago I had to protect several hundred MB. Now I have to protect Terrabytes. Scanning became a weekend job. consuming energy and prizes for energy doubled the same time. And so on. I wonder were this is leading to as everything that was digitized - was also filled with worries stress and fear the same time. Since data became digitized - we fear and worry for this data. Isn't this strange? No one worries for the books on the cupboard the same way. They could be eaten by bookworms by papertrojans.

    I have some script blockers installed on my webbrowser and therefore on many pages only a poor functionality. So I have to permit scripts manually - I have to accept this and that to make sites work - and all those functionality may open doors and windows and tunnels for malware. So the more doors and windows - the more risks of burglars coming in.

    Now Norton shows were this is going to end. At the end for security reason our screens will remain dark - we'll have to block all content because all content will be a potential risk.

    And to block potential risks we have to stop communication between us.

    5 hours ago, rsc204 said:

    So the real key lies in ensuring your data is safe, then if the worst happens, you'll just have to restore your system, annoying, but the lesser of two evils.

    So, yes, this seems to be the only exit. Some kind of 'golden rule'.

    Now we had to discuss what is the best storage for backups. My guess: paper? Or maybe clay tablets. They found some in the dessert sand ... ~3800 years old and still readable. Wish to know if they were worried about their data by this time. But by this time only a handfull of people could write and read. So most of the people were lucky without owning 'data'. 

    One could say since then 'data' became the new gold. Seems to make people unlucky - you'll have to give them data they own. Collect data, negotiate data, steal data. Protect data. Cyber wars.

    I remember in the times before the internet I had a windows 3.1 computer. And playing around with it and changing parameters it didn't take much and the operating system was corrupted the way It crashed permantently. I was as effective as a computer virus to ruin my setup and had to reinstall everything quite often.

    Since then operating systems got much more stable. Me not. Don't know - but for sure since there are human beings there was data loss. Regarding the last 20.000 years for shure in total more data was lost than won. It's a circuit - 100.000 clay tablets were written, 80.000 got lost. 5 billion books were written, 4 billion got lost. It's nothing about the technology we use, it seems to be about evolution. Or maybe ignorance. Don't know.

    If viruses don't do the work, time will do. Once I had a hard drive crash - and life did go on. And some data I miss and I don't even know were it did go to.

    Regarding the harm to data I did on my pc - viruses didn't do not half as much damage as me.   

     

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    Some progress at last...
     

    Norton ST Warning 070717.jpg

     

    The internal request status has been updated to "re-evaluation is in progress".


    By the way, here's the message I wrote:

    Spoiler

    Hello,

    Within the past week, our website (simtropolis.com) has been red flagged by Norton Safe Web due to the suspected presence of a Trojan.Gen.2 virus. However, we strongly believe the file reportedly containing this threat is actually perfectly harmless and a false positive.

    To provide some background:

    The file in question was uploaded as part of our site’s downloads exchange (the STEX), which hosts over 20,000 content items for city-building computer games. It was last modified in September 2010, and is a zip archive:

    Install_spa_Dundas_Terrace_BSC3a.zip


    Which contains the following files:

    
    09/06/2010  20:00           12,607 Dundas Terrace Readme.htm
    
    01/11/2009  13:22           171,656 DundasTerrace1.jpg
    
    01/11/2009  13:22           175,001 DundasTerrace2.jpg
    
    09/06/2010  20:03           2,035,355 Install_spa_Dundas_Terrace_BSC.exe
    
    4 File(s)      2,394,619 bytes

     

    It seems the executable is likely the one which has been flagged. This is an installer which allows the content items to be extracted and placed in the correct folder for them to function.

    A big consideration here is this file, among others, has been tried & tested in our community over a very long period (almost 7 years). Therefore if this was a legitimate threat, people would have almost certainly by now reported ill effects after running the installer. Over 4,000 people have downloaded it without suggesting there are security concerns. Also, many other files we host use installers, and this one (created using the Clickteam suite) is commonly used and is no different. The files extract successfully without any resulting threats.

    A local Norton Security scan of the file also confirms no threat is present.


    Our exchange is also moderated, meaning we actively check files are compliant with site rules, and do not allow malicious files to be shared.

    For this reason, we kindly request the listed threat is removed from the Norton Safe Web database, and simtropolis.com is restored back to green "Safe" status.


    Thanks,

    -CB
    Community Admin
    Simtropolis

     

    Here's hoping we get the green flag very shortly. *;)

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    Keep up the good work CB. As I accessed the site tonight, I was not interrupted by the red flag Norton warning (as I have Norton AV installed on my computer), as I had been last night and the previous times during this week. I feel confident that Simtropolis will be returned to green status again sooner than later. 

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    If you use Windows Defender and you don't go to shady parts of the internet you should be fine. My brother does IT and my computer only has windows defender. And whatever else you add you can just use the free version. A normal person basically never needs to pay for antivirus stuff. 

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    I recently had a similar problem but instead of NORTON it was with Avira AV:

    Avira.jpg.01f714273fe82410eea639e3c9ca293d.jpg

    As for the comments from everybody, I agree mostly. I use anti-malware and AV in each computer, but different ones from one comp to another. No problems except this SC4BatInstaller. I think I have been lucky.

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