Friday, February 22, 2008

403 Forbidden Again - And Again

Recently, a few bloggers have seen the return of an old favourite (not)
Google Error

We're sorry...

... but your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application. To protect our users, we can't process your request right now.


The general thought is that Google just changed some settings, and they need to change them back. Now.

In reality, the situation isn't nearly so simple.

The problem doesn't just involve settings. Hackers are increasingly inventive, so Google servers do behaviour and signature analysis of all incoming network traffic. As the hackers get more inventive, the analysis has to be more picky, which makes analysis prone to false positives. Then changing software on our computers makes for still more problems.

When you see the error, it's possible that some basic diagnostic information might make it possible for Blogger Support to troubleshoot the problem.
  • Browser.
  • Internet connection.
  • Location - geographical and political.
  • Operating system.
  • Security devices and software.
Any, or all, of these factors might be relevant. Be as detailed as possible, when reporting your observations.

The bottom line? Be thankful that you don't see the old "403 Forbidden" error constantly.

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