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Malware, quarantines, and the cost of quarantines

Just when I needed to access the University of Duhok servers most … BLACKLISTED.

Oops! Can't visit UOD site this month....

Oops! Can't visit UOD site this month....

I’m really not one to complain about sensible Internet security measures. It’s just that this time, I’m the one that needed access to all the information stuck behind the Google / Mozilla quarantine wall.

Google’s and Mozilla’s strategy for containing malicious software on Web servers works approximately like this. If the Google bots encounter repeated attempts to install malware at your servers (about five in the space of several weeks), they flag your servers as high risks for Web users. Mozilla and Google then politely refuse to let users browse those websites.

With a modicum of creativity, it’s possible to visit those sites in violation of the quarantine. Most users, however, will simply do without access to the sites until they clean up their act. This is eminently sensible.

I just wish this wasn’t the week they had to clean up the servers at the university I’m about to visit. Calling Duhok is expensive.

About Ben Mazzotta

Ben Mazzotta is a postdoc at the Center for Emerging Market Enterprises (CEME). His study of the Cost of Cash is part of CEME's research into inclusive growth.


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