BROUGHT TO YOU BY SNOWWOWL.COM-NON-COMMERCIAL NATIVE AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL WEBSITE YAHOO AND MAC AFEE TARGET NATIVE AMERICAN WEBSITE SNOWWOWL.COM
May 30, 2008
Osiyo Brothers and Sisters,
It is with a heavy heart that I write to you. I am asking help for the Snow Owl site. Yahoo, with assistance from MacAfee, has marked the http://snowwowl.com website with a red security warning.
There are red exclamation points and it states-"Unsolicited Email" as if we are sending spam emails or giving email addresses to spammers. Only if one clicks on the details does one see that it concerns email addresses and forms. But who is going to go that far--they will stop at "unsolicited emails", and skip the site altogether. This means many will be turned away from the Snow Owl website and the information offered within.
I have written Yahoo, and then Mac Afee, because Yahoo blames MacAfee, and asked why they put up the warning and asked why I was never notified. Their policy is NOT to notify owners of their findings. What I was told was that an automated spider filled out a form and then the email address that was used received 12 spam emails in a week. They acknowledge that these emails were not sent by the http://snowwowl.com website, but that spammers were able to read the email address on the website and then send the spam.
The problem is that none of our forms automatically put up email addresses on the website, they are personally added by myself. AND we have a warning on our Guest Book form, that an email address is not required and that if one enters their email address for the GuestBook it will be made public on the Internet. Which means that any spammer can read the email address, as can happen on any website with a GuestBook or any page with email addresses. We do NOT put up any email addresses that come to us in any other forms, unless it is specified to include the email address.
On the basis of one automated test, Mac Afee and Yahoo red flagged all 1700+ pages of our site (not just the pages with forms) in all of the Yahoo search results.
You might be saying that this is just a another "fubar". I believe it goes beyond that...
You see, the server which has the snowwowl.com website, also has several other websites, with the same forms and GuestBooks, none of them have been targeted. IF the Snow Owl site is not secure, then these other sites would be as well. In fact when looking further into what was going on, the other sites have been given green lights by Mac Afee and Yahoo. It is just the Native American educational website, that Snow Owl, Spotted Wolf and I have painstakingly put together over the past 7 years, that has been targeted.
As luck would have it, I just happened to switch all of the forms on Snow Owl last week, and I have asked MacAfee to retest the forms. If they do this and IF they decide that they want to give us a green light, they will.
In the meantime, there is still the question of this practice, and why the Snow Owl site was targeted.
Or for that matter why any website would be flagged over a single automated test. We all know how reliable machines can be.
By now you are probably wondering what you can do...
I would like you to tell everyone you know and everyone in your network :
1) That the http://snowwowl.com website is a secure site for them to visit.
2) The only security concern is with the forms and most likely it is bogus. 3) No one is required to fill out a form to read the information contained on the site, so there is no security issue with VISITING the site.
I think we need to come together and stop Yahoo and MacAfee from being able to indiscriminately target sites and bring them down, in a ploy to promote their "fearware". THIS COULD HAPPEN TO ANY SITE AT ANY TIME.
We have no way of knowing when the site was red flagged, it was just brought to our attention this week. People could have been turned away for months.
We have no way to defend ourselves, we are at the mercy of Yahoo and MacAfee.
If this was a legitimate concern for the well being of the Internet, they would be up front and notify site owners when they found problems with their sites. Also they would test every site, not pick and choose.
Here is a portion of the search page results.
If you want to see the actual page with the warning, I am talking about, here is the link--http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=A0oGkm.u50BInzwALZtXNyoA?p=Powwow+Calendar&y=Search&fr=yfp-t-501&ei=UTF-8
If you have any ideas or suggestions on how we can take this further...let us know.
Thank you for your support and for listening...
Stone Woman and Spotted Wolf
BTW--- After MacAfee's software totally screwed up my new computer running Windows Vista, Dell tech support advised me to remove MacAfee and go with Antivira http://www.free-av.com , free software that I have been running with no glitches and no viruses for the past 5 months, and there are no yearly subscription fees. For Spyware, they recommended http://www.superantispyware.com another free program, that has kept my computer clean. Both programs do automatic updates and can schedule scans. Because they don't conflict with Windows Vista they are way ahead of Mac Afee. I couldn't have used Symantec, because once MacAfee is on a system, you never get it off completely and that conflicts with Norton. However, the orphan MacAfee files do not effect AntiVira or SuperAntiSpyware.
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