Comodo DNS Blocks Ghacks - gHacks Tech News

Comodo DNS Blocks Ghacks

Imagine my surprise when Jojo mentioned that Comodo DNS was blocking ghacks.net, allegedly because it was a hacking / warez site that may offer illegal sharing of copyrighted software and media. Bogus claims obviously, which can hurt a website financially and irritate new and regular visitors.

I tried to get hold of Comodo to resolve the issue. First, I checked their forums to see if it was a general problem. Then, I looked under contact and found their support system. I created a support ticked and waited a good hour or so. After that I received an response, stating that "This site is parked, and doesn't carry any useful content. The only content it has is advertisement links. Comodo Secure DNS blocks such sites".

No mentioning of hacking or warez in the reply. Now Ghacks.net is a parked domain with nothing but advertisements. Great, I wonder what domain they did take a look at, definitely not mine as it is not a parked domain obviously. You would not be reading this otherwise.

So, I replied and after 12 hours, I'm still waiting for a response. To be honest, I have no idea how they can classify my site like this. I have a nagging feeling that some ******* webmasters or ****** of users have reported the site.

Brett notified me about the blocking of ghacks as well in an email. He mentioned that Comodo started blocking a large number of sites since yesterday, and believed that it was probably because of the name of the site.

It is weekend and it is likely that I won't get a response before Monday, if I get any at all. For the meantime, I suggest you either ignore the message, or switch to Open DNS, which is a free excellent service. Their DNS server IPs are 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220.

Another alternative is Google DNS, which uses the DNS servers 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4.

Are you a webmaster with similar problems? Or a user who noticed that other sites are not accessible as well? Share your findings in the comments.

Update: My third email to [email protected] was answered quickly, and Ghacks does not seem to be blocked anymore by Comodo.





  • We need your help

    Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.

    We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.

    If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:

    Comments

    1. Ruchir said on September 18, 2010 at 11:11 am
      Reply

      I can say for sure that Ghacks is one of the most principled,ethical and useful site,and probably a role model for tech blogs.Bill M blog is as good.both are perfect sites making others leave pirate practices and use excellent freewares.Which joker can say Ghacks is indulged in anything unethical or unlawful

      1. Martin said on September 18, 2010 at 11:16 am
        Reply

        Thanks Ruchir for the compliments. I still do not know why they have flagged my site ;)

    2. Ahmad said on September 18, 2010 at 11:59 am
      Reply

      Empty head Comodo people, ghacks is the best site and does not contain any kind of illegal stuff. Stop making false assumption Comodo.

    3. Velociraptor said on September 18, 2010 at 12:27 pm
      Reply
    4. akbarri said on September 18, 2010 at 12:27 pm
      Reply

      just two words, “stupid” DNS :D

    5. akbarri said on September 18, 2010 at 12:29 pm
      Reply

      2 words, “stupid” DNS

    6. Kaushik said on September 18, 2010 at 12:37 pm
      Reply

      They have mistaken it for http://ghacks.com/.

      BTW, I wonder why you went for .NET and not .COM?

      1. Martin said on September 18, 2010 at 12:48 pm
        Reply

        Kaushik, I thought so as well, but then, I would assume that they actually read the email messages and test the domains thoroughly. I’m not sure why I did pick .net, maybe the .com was already taken? It has been a long time ago, and back then I did not really think about it much. Today, I would love to have the com. But the guy wants 20k for it, that’s ridiculous.

    7. The Tran said on September 18, 2010 at 12:38 pm
      Reply

      To my surprise !!
      But Google DNS is better than OpenDNS since OpenDNS blocks some services like Yahoo! Messenger and at times makes it hard to access some websites

    8. Nicolai said on September 18, 2010 at 2:08 pm
      Reply
      1. Martin said on September 18, 2010 at 2:43 pm
        Reply

        oh well :)

    9. justine said on September 18, 2010 at 2:59 pm
      Reply

      Bitorrent related web sites are blocked too.
      Like utorrent oficial web site, for exemple.
      Comodo goes in a wrong way.

    10. Transcontinental said on September 18, 2010 at 3:18 pm
      Reply

      This is not the first time Comodo DNS is making a fool of itself. I switch sometimes from one DNS server to another (or combine them) but Comodo is never of the lot. When companies do this sort of mistake they should apologize publicly (twiiter, facebook, new york times)

      Gosh, Comodo…. mama mia!

    11. dwarf_tossr said on September 18, 2010 at 3:50 pm
      Reply

      I absolutely LOVE their firewall. It’s a pity that they would try and block access to this site though, which is not only a knee-jerk reaction but terribly misguided. Such attempted censoring of the Internet seems like a great reason to never use their DNS service.

      It’s pretty disappointing, really. You just keep doing what you do, Martin and company.

    12. JK said on September 18, 2010 at 3:52 pm
      Reply

      Comparing to Norton DNS and Sunbelts’s ClearCloud, the performance of Comodo’s DNS is very poor. I have tried it, but the next moment I leave it.

    13. Jack said on September 18, 2010 at 5:11 pm
      Reply

      I have no experience of Comodo DNS – but if they’re blocking ghacks it hardly fills me with confidence about its performance in general. Especially if they deal with hour-to-hour problems on a week to week basis!

      So I reckon I’ll pass on trying Comodo DNS, especially as Open DNS has always performed very well for me.

    14. Mezanul said on September 18, 2010 at 5:52 pm
      Reply

      It’s really very disappointing that companies like Comodo commits mistakes like this. When I read the reply that you got from them, I felt like they don’t even bother to check the URL properly.

      People, use OpenDNS, I am very happy with it or better use the suggestion by Velociraptor: https://www.ghacks.net/2009/12/14/change-dns-servers-with-dns-jumper/

      Ghacks is the best ethical tech blog and Comodo should apology for this mistake.

      1. Martin said on September 18, 2010 at 6:02 pm
        Reply

        Thanks guys for your support. I’m pretty disappointed by their support so far. The first response was very quick, but probably because the support staff did not even bother to look at the right site. Funny that they enable a new feature on a Friday, when their support seems to be either non-existing or limited on weekends.

    15. Bambo said on September 18, 2010 at 6:31 pm
      Reply

      This is why there should always be an option to whitelist a site. Mistakes are more easily dealt with. Norton DNS recently blocked whole sourgeforge! I use DynDns because of whitelist option.

      Keep this in mind if you write about WOT or similar service. They are actually worse since amateurs can make these decisions and even pros are not always that good at it. Also pretty dumb to dismiss a service because of a few/some errors but then again tell that to site admins involved… At least they must have an effective report/complain system in place. Also goes for AV-programs which can flag legit programs and not always care that much.

      1. Martin said on September 18, 2010 at 7:11 pm
        Reply

        From a webmasters point of view, I really like the search at OpenDNS to find out if a website has been tagged by the system. And I agree, a whitelist is a must have, with all the false positives around.

    16. eeyore said on September 18, 2010 at 7:16 pm
      Reply

      Hello, Martin

      I’m browsing the site using Comodo Dragon, without any warning!

      I’m guessing “fixed”? The other possibility would be “Comodo is really screwed up”?.

      1. Martin said on September 18, 2010 at 7:23 pm
        Reply

        That would be nice, but I have not heard from Comodo yet, and I’m really to laze to switch to their DNS servers again just to see if the issue has been dealt with. Thanks for letting me know.

    17. Heinzle Heinrich said on September 19, 2010 at 2:20 am
      Reply

      It’s because of the “hacks” string in the domain name, isn’t it? :-)

      1. Heinzle Heinrich said on September 19, 2010 at 2:40 am
        Reply

        @Martin,

        you share ghacks’ IP with deny.de and the other site seems to be “parked”. So Comodo doesn’t block your domain name. They block your IP 96.30.22.116. You ought to take a closer look into this issue.

        Cheers

        1. Martin said on September 19, 2010 at 10:28 am
          Reply

          Heinrich, which sites appear to be parked? And should not they be able to block on a per-domain basis and not per IP? I mean, do they block hundreds of domains on shared hosting if they think one site is bad? And even if they did block the IP, what’s with the bogus warez claim? I never did that and never will..

        2. Heinzle Heinrich said on September 19, 2010 at 2:06 pm
          Reply

          Martin, I meant deny.de which uses the same IP as ghacks.net.

          And of course Comodo’s behavior is not acceptable. I’m with you.

        3. Martin said on September 19, 2010 at 2:38 pm
          Reply

          Heinrich I know, but deny.de has no ads at all, so even if that would be the problem, it would not justify their classification as a warez site. So, it must be something else. Not sure what though.

      2. Heinzle Heinrich said on September 19, 2010 at 2:45 am
        Reply
    18. Jojo said on September 19, 2010 at 3:25 am
      Reply

      I just opened this post and DID NOT get the Comodo prompt.

      So maybe someone there does work on weekends and is paying attention?

      1. Martin said on September 19, 2010 at 10:31 am
        Reply

        Jojo no it is still blocked. What apparently happens is that the “unblock” option is valid for the browsing session. As long as the browser is open, you won’t receive the same warning twice. If you close and reopen, it appears again.

    19. Virtualguy said on September 19, 2010 at 5:08 am
      Reply

      The Tran was completely wrong in saying that OpenDNS blocks Yahoo! Messenger. I use OpenDNS as my DNS servers and I use Messenger daily without issue. If you’re having issues with Messenger, I suggest you look elsewhere.

    20. Virtualguy said on September 19, 2010 at 5:17 am
      Reply

      A VERY useful tool for determining what DNS servers you should be using can be found at GRC.com. This excellent tool will help you find the fastest DNS servers for your particular geographical location and proximity to a given set of servers. Check it out: http://www.grc.com/dns/benchmark.htm

    21. Will said on September 19, 2010 at 8:46 am
      Reply

      Ouch!

      Never figured Comodo would do something so stupid.

      I’ve been using their products since they first went public, but this is just no excuse. Sad!!

    22. john said on September 19, 2010 at 2:08 pm
      Reply

      Glad to see this hasn’t been happening to me only. Does anyone using rapidshare have any issues regarding invalid certificates?. I can’t tell if the issue is connected.

      1. Martin said on September 19, 2010 at 3:14 pm
        Reply

        They are blocking Rapidshare as well.

        1. john said on September 19, 2010 at 3:22 pm
          Reply

          Thank you.

    23. Martin said on September 19, 2010 at 3:13 pm
      Reply

      Yah, I got a response from Comodo, and guess what. They still think ghacks.net is a parked domain. That’s so annoying.

      Hi Martin,

      Thank you for your mail.

      This is to inform you that Comodo Secure DNS blocks parked pages. Parked page is a page that has no information beyond advertisement links. I have checked the domain ghacks.net and found that the domain is parked. So the domain is blocked by Comodo Secure DNS.

      For information on parked pages, please visit the given below link
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain_parking

      Please let me know if you need any further support.

      1. Heinzle Heinrich said on September 19, 2010 at 11:25 pm
        Reply

        Hilarious! Did they reference a Wikipedia article?

        What about this one about learning abilities…

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stupidity_(disambiguation)

        “Stupidity is the property a person, action or belief instantiates by virtue of having or being indicative of low intelligence or poor learning abilities.”

        C’mon Comodo, you have to make all reasonable efforts!

    24. Peter said on September 20, 2010 at 10:45 am
      Reply

      I believe there might be a bigger thing happening: TrendMicro is suddenly blocking all kinds of sites as well that were working fine before, calling them threats.
      Yes, some are warez sites, but I’ve used them for years without problems.

      I then saw this article, and started thinking there might be more to it than that: some concerted effort to ‘legally’ block warez sites, instead of taking them down? Choking off access through fear of virusses/malware/etc?

    25. Simakuutio said on September 21, 2010 at 1:42 pm
      Reply

      Update:

      Contacted Comodo because Nirsoft was also blocked by Comodo. They actually responded quickly asking more details. When I provided them more details (screenshots), they answered me:

      Thanks for your mail.

      This issue has forwarded to our developers and will get back to you shortly. If the site is genuine and not a phishing site our developers will will unblock it within 48 hours.

      “To serve you better in the near future, Kindly provide your Valuable feedback to [email protected]

      Regards
      xxxxxxxxxx
      Technical Support Team

      1. Martin said on September 21, 2010 at 1:47 pm
        Reply

        Haha, they thought Nirsoft was a phishing site?

    26. Vesta Moscoffian said on November 6, 2010 at 6:02 pm
      Reply

      I do not imagine I’ve ever seen any web site with this particular quite a few reviews about it!

    27. Herman Burgers said on July 30, 2012 at 11:14 am
      Reply

      Hi Martin Brinkmann,

      We host a website for a customer, and comodo has this website on a blacklist. Why is a mistery for us, other sitecheckers don’t have this problem. Getting removed from this blacklist or recieving more information turns out to be a problem. No one is available for comment. How did you get of the blacklist?

      Regards,
      Herman

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 30, 2012 at 11:34 am
        Reply

        I think this article has helped me a lot. I did contact Comodo as well.

    Leave a Reply