Kaspersky blocks BBC News over false phishing fears

Access denied


Updated Kaspersky's security software created confusion on Wednesday after it blocked the redesigned BBC News site and other web properties.

The Russian security firm's widely used Internet Security 2011 package labelled the revamped news site as a phishing risk, warning users against visiting it. The Auntie-blocking behaviour extended across a wide range of BBC sites, not just the flagship news site, until Kaspersky pulled the dodgy update late on Wednesday. In the interim surfers were confronted with the following unhelpful message:

http://www.bbc.co.uk is used to steal passwords, credit card numbers and other confidential data. Access denied

In an statement, Kaspersky apologised for the false positive, which it blamed on dodgy data from a third-party phishing blocklist supplier. It promised to improve its testing procedures to prevent a repetition of the incident.

Kaspersky Lab acknowledges that its products erroneously blocked access to the bbc.co.uk website

On 14 July, 2010, one of Kaspersky Lab's external providers of phishing data supplied incorrect information that was subsequently incorporated into the Company's anti-phishing databases. As a result, all Kaspersky Lab endpoint security products erroneously blocked access to the bbc.co.uk website, wrongly identifying it as a phishing site. The error was identified and corrected shortly thereafter.

Kaspersky Lab would like to apologise for any inconvenience this problem may have caused users. The company is continually improving its procedures for testing products and releasing updates to prevent such errors from occurring in future.

Snafus like this are the result of misfiring security defining updates. Problems of this type are all too common and can label system files as potentially malign and quarantine them, which can cripple a system.

This case is fairly minor by comparison, but will have generated plenty of confused support calls before it was resolved.

The issue is certainly not caused by the redesign of the BBC News site. Widespread criticism of the redesign in the blogsphere over its confusing layout, unappealing appearance and the bone-headed decision to demote the prominence of sports coverage is another thing altogether. The revamped BBC site falls foul of several HTML coding conventions but this should not by itself have resulted in this false positive. ®

Similar topics

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Will this be one of the world's first RISC-V laptops?
    A sneak peek at a notebook that could be revealed this year

    Pic As Apple and Qualcomm push for more Arm adoption in the notebook space, we have come across a photo of what could become one of the world's first laptops to use the open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture.

    In an interview with The Register, Calista Redmond, CEO of RISC-V International, signaled we will see a RISC-V laptop revealed sometime this year as the ISA's governing body works to garner more financial and development support from large companies.

    It turns out Philipp Tomsich, chair of RISC-V International's software committee, dangled a photo of what could likely be the laptop in question earlier this month in front of RISC-V Week attendees in Paris.

    Continue reading
  • Did ID.me hoodwink Americans with IRS facial-recognition tech, senators ask
    Biz tells us: Won't someone please think of the ... fraud we've stopped

    Democrat senators want the FTC to investigate "evidence of deceptive statements" made by ID.me regarding the facial-recognition technology it controversially built for Uncle Sam.

    ID.me made headlines this year when the IRS said US taxpayers would have to enroll in the startup's facial-recognition system to access their tax records in the future. After a public backlash, the IRS reconsidered its plans, and said taxpayers could choose non-biometric methods to verify their identity with the agency online.

    Just before the IRS controversy, ID.me said it uses one-to-one face comparisons. "Our one-to-one face match is comparable to taking a selfie to unlock a smartphone. ID.me does not use one-to-many facial recognition, which is more complex and problematic. Further, privacy is core to our mission and we do not sell the personal information of our users," it said in January.

    Continue reading
  • Meet Wizard Spider, the multimillion-dollar gang behind Conti, Ryuk malware
    Russia-linked crime-as-a-service crew is rich, professional – and investing in R&D

    Analysis Wizard Spider, the Russia-linked crew behind high-profile malware Conti, Ryuk and Trickbot, has grown over the past five years into a multimillion-dollar organization that has built a corporate-like operating model, a year-long study has found.

    In a technical report this week, the folks at Prodaft, which has been tracking the cybercrime gang since 2021, outlined its own findings on Wizard Spider, supplemented by info that leaked about the Conti operation in February after the crooks publicly sided with Russia during the illegal invasion of Ukraine.

    What Prodaft found was a gang sitting on assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars funneled from multiple sophisticated malware variants. Wizard Spider, we're told, runs as a business with a complex network of subgroups and teams that target specific types of software, and has associations with other well-known miscreants, including those behind REvil and Qbot (also known as Qakbot or Pinkslipbot).

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022