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GarryP

Why do I sometimes get “attacked” by the Forum website?

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Every now and again I get a notification from my security software that it has blocked an “attack” from the website; see attached image.

Is there something I should be doing about this?

Annotation 2019-11-03 141521-edited.jpg

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The forum will try to notify you of updates to watched topics, or  of replies to topics that you're still reading. 

Possibly your security software is considering those pushed notifications as an attack. Mine doesn't.


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 1909 (183623.476),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop:  8GB memory, Intel Core i7-3625QM @ 2.30GHz, Intel HD Graphics 4000 or NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
Affinity Photo 1.8.3.641 and 1.8.4.650 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.8.3.641 and 1.8.4.650 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.8.3.641 and 1.8.4.651 Beta.

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@GarryP

I see from your screenshot that you are running Bullguard.  Which exact product?

I run Bullguard Internet Security and don't see any notifications about "problems" with connections from the forum.

Jeff


Win 10 Pro, i7 6700K, 32Gb RAM, AMD Radeon R7 360 and Intel HD530 Graphics

 

Long-time user of Serif products, chiefly PagePlus and PhotoPlus, but also WebPlus, CraftArtistProfessional and DrawPlus.  Delighted to be using Affinity Designer, Photo, and now Publisher.

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Walt: I get browser and (sometimes) toast notifications from the site without any problems and, as far as I can tell, when I get an “attack” there’s nothing that I would need notification of, so it doesn’t seem to be notification-related but I don’t know enough to rule that out completely.

Jeff: I’m running the “Internet Security (Total)” version of Bullguard. I’ve tweaked some settings but, as far as I know, this is the only site that I have got an “attack” from. I got a few “attacks” yesterday but it has been many months since the last one.

It might be worth noting that – as far as I can remember – I’ve only been “attacked” while browsing the site via Firefox (updates automatically installed) on Windows 10 Home (updates manually installed pretty much as soon as I am notified). I run the same software (or the mobile version of it) on my phone but I’ve never seen the same issue there, however, I don’t know if the mobile version works similarly and I never log-in to the forum on my phone.

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@GarryP

Thanks for the updated information.  Perhaps worth notifying Bullguard that this warning is a false positive?  I've always found them very receptive to such advice and they will usually quite quickly make amendments at their end.

Jeff


Win 10 Pro, i7 6700K, 32Gb RAM, AMD Radeon R7 360 and Intel HD530 Graphics

 

Long-time user of Serif products, chiefly PagePlus and PhotoPlus, but also WebPlus, CraftArtistProfessional and DrawPlus.  Delighted to be using Affinity Designer, Photo, and now Publisher.

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You’re welcome.
Yeah, I’ve found the customer support at Bullguard to be very good which is why I’ve stuck with them for the last few years (despite the frequent “renew or perish” pop-ups at certain times of the year). I’ll see what the Affinity people (also excellent customer support) have to say and then take it from there.

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Just had three more “attacks” from this site in quick succession, and others from the likes of wikimedia and amazonaws.
It’s probably my set-up but it would be interesting to find out what is causing them.

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If you go to your Account Settings, then Notification Settings, do you see this?
image.png.39fd75573d893aec5c80b2c246298c7f.png

Those are the notifications I'm thinking of. The forum software would have asked for permission, and if that is on then you responded Yes when your browser asked.

In Firefox, Tools > Options, then Privacy & Security, and on that page you would see this:

image.png.9d6106b5a0c7ab3ec741936eb3d298a1.png

The "Learn more" will explain how it works (in basic details, at least) and the Settings... button will let you see what's configured. I have, for example,

image.png.e9ab9ed72cee1520587acc3fe98be960.png

You could try changing that to disallow the notifications, and see if your "attacks" stop.


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 1909 (183623.476),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop:  8GB memory, Intel Core i7-3625QM @ 2.30GHz, Intel HD Graphics 4000 or NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
Affinity Photo 1.8.3.641 and 1.8.4.650 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.8.3.641 and 1.8.4.650 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.8.3.641 and 1.8.4.651 Beta.

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Walt, my settings are as you suggest.
I think it’s likely that my security software is set-up to be a bit too sensitive.
Or maybe it’s bringing these “attacks” to my attention to make me think it’s doing its job well.
If it just sat there in the background not telling me about things then I might not be as likely to continue my subscription. “All is well” doesn’t rake the cash in as much as “We stopped you from being attacked”.
Or am I just being a bit too cynical?

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34 minutes ago, GarryP said:

If it just sat there in the background not telling me about things then I might not be as likely to continue my subscription. “All is well” doesn’t rake the cash in as much as “We stopped you from being attacked”.
Or am I just being a bit too cynical?

Cynicism can be healthy, Garry :)

If you can confirm that the WebPush notifications are triggering it, then perhaps there's a setting you can tweak in the security software to accept them. The Bullguard team might be able to help you with that. Or, from their documentation you might try adding forums.affinity.serif.com (or its IP address) to the Trusted Hosts list and see if that resolves the problem.

You mentioned you're only getting these purported attacks from the Affinity forums. When you look at your Firefox settings, are you signed up for push notifications from any other sites? If so, and you're not getting attack notifications from them (and there are events they should have notified you of) perhaps it's not web push notifications that are causing your problem.

Or, perhaps, @Patrick Connor would be able to figure out what the forum software is doing, and whether the notification process should look like a portscan to the client-side security software.


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 1909 (183623.476),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop:  8GB memory, Intel Core i7-3625QM @ 2.30GHz, Intel HD Graphics 4000 or NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
Affinity Photo 1.8.3.641 and 1.8.4.650 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.8.3.641 and 1.8.4.650 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.8.3.641 and 1.8.4.651 Beta.

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As I said above, I started to get the same issue with other websites (wikimedia and amazonaws, amongst others) so I don’t think it’s an issue with the forum website per se.
I’ve a feeling that it might be something to do with a recent Firefox update which isn’t yet being handled nicely by Bullguard.
As it’s not causing anything more than a pop-up I’ll continue to monitor the situation and see what happens.

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@GarryP

This morning I received an on-screen notification that my Bullguard installation had been updated to the "latest" version, 2020 (actual version number 20.0.x.x).  I will be interested to see whether that change results in me seeing the same messages as you.

Which version of Bullguard do you have?

Jeff


Win 10 Pro, i7 6700K, 32Gb RAM, AMD Radeon R7 360 and Intel HD530 Graphics

 

Long-time user of Serif products, chiefly PagePlus and PhotoPlus, but also WebPlus, CraftArtistProfessional and DrawPlus.  Delighted to be using Affinity Designer, Photo, and now Publisher.

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Currently it’s showing as 19.0.371.16 on the home screen (see attached image).

However, in the Messaging Centre I see some messages:

  • 29th Aug: Version updated from 19.0.369.2 to 19.0.370.
  • 25th Sep: Version updated from 19.0.370 to 20.0.371.4.
  • 27th Sep: Version updated from 20.0.371.4 to 20.0.371.5.
  • 29th Sep: Version updated from 20.0.371.5 to 20.0.371.7.
  • 06th Oct: Version updated from 20.0.371.7 to 20.0.371.8.
  • 24th Oct: Version updated from 20.0.371.8 to 20.0.371.11.
  • 30th Oct: Version updated from 20.0.371.11 to 20.0.371.14.
  • 01st Nov: Version updated from 20.0.371.14 to 20.0.371.16.

So the Minor version numbers seem to be correct but the Major version is different.
I wonder if that has some consequence that I should be following-up on.

I remember getting an email from Bullguard quite a while ago that said I could expect some “exiting new things” but I haven’t seen any changes in the UI for ages.

Edit: I’ve just sent an email to Bullguard asking what’s wrong with this. Hopefully they will get back to me with a good answer.

Annotation 2019-11-05 122722.png

Edited by GarryP
Added extra info.

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Hi Garry.

20.0.371.16 is my current version number also.

Jeff


Win 10 Pro, i7 6700K, 32Gb RAM, AMD Radeon R7 360 and Intel HD530 Graphics

 

Long-time user of Serif products, chiefly PagePlus and PhotoPlus, but also WebPlus, CraftArtistProfessional and DrawPlus.  Delighted to be using Affinity Designer, Photo, and now Publisher.

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Yes, that's the number showing on the bottom left of the main BG window.


Win 10 Pro, i7 6700K, 32Gb RAM, AMD Radeon R7 360 and Intel HD530 Graphics

 

Long-time user of Serif products, chiefly PagePlus and PhotoPlus, but also WebPlus, CraftArtistProfessional and DrawPlus.  Delighted to be using Affinity Designer, Photo, and now Publisher.

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Booted up my computer this morning and I’ve just been upgraded to BullGuard 2020 so I’ll see what happens hereafter.
(The reply to my email was that they were in the process of sending out updates.)
P.S. I don’t think much of the new Secure Browser as it just 'hangs' for 15 minutes – until I kill the process – saying it’s “creating a secure environment”, but I guess you can’t get much more secure than not being able to do anything at all.
P.P.S. I think I’ve found out how to disable the “renew or perish” pop-ups too, so I’ll see how that goes.

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@GarryP

Fully agree with your comment about the Secure Browser!  In my case, even trying to End Task via Task Manager did not help; in the end I had to restart my PC to stop it!

Jeff

 


Win 10 Pro, i7 6700K, 32Gb RAM, AMD Radeon R7 360 and Intel HD530 Graphics

 

Long-time user of Serif products, chiefly PagePlus and PhotoPlus, but also WebPlus, CraftArtistProfessional and DrawPlus.  Delighted to be using Affinity Designer, Photo, and now Publisher.

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Maybe it’ll be better in later versions.
It seems to be based on Chromium so I’ve no idea how much better security-wise it might be compared to that.
I think I’ll stick with just the three browsers I use already.

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