Norton Internet security messes up webpages
jeffd
Status: Assistant
Joined: 04 Oct 2003
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I just found this one. On a gallery I do I opened it up and only the last 3 images from each thumbnail gallery of about 20-30 images were displaying. I looked at the code and could see no difference, first I thought the site had been hacked, but after a little research I found that norton internet security is actually rewriting the page html. It physically removed all but 3 of the <img> tags, leaving only the <a href> tags. This truly bizarre behavior was solved by turning off norton internet security.

Once again Norton has unleashed total garbage onto the market place. And ruined real websites display. This is just amazing.

Norton, get your f##ing shit together, if you can't find real programmers maybe it's time to call it quits, my guess this junk was outsourced to india or the philipines.
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vkaryl
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Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 273
Location: back of beyond - s. UT, closer to Vegas than SLC
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Upgrade to AVG posthaste....
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jeffd
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Joined: 04 Oct 2003
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The problem is that this appears to be a standard norton internet 'security' behavior. Which means that when we put up a gallery page, in this instance, who can say what nis does besides this, and the site visitor is using norton's junk, the gallery won't work for them.

I simply can't believe, well, ok, I can believe it, but it's amazing that a product like that will actually rewrite the page html for some inexplicable reason. This is beyond ridiculous. And it means that everyone who is buying the current norton suite is not going to be able to view standard html gallery images.

Just wanted to post this as a heads up for anyone getting problem reports from site visitors and who were wondering what the heck was happening.

I'd never use that nis product, norton is gone as far as I'm concerned from all future machines I configure.
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vkaryl
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Joined: 31 Oct 2004
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Location: back of beyond - s. UT, closer to Vegas than SLC
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Ah. Hmmm. My daughter and my sister both use the "latest and greatest" norton suite stuff, and neither one is reporting anything similar to your experience.

I wonder if it's specific to the gallery software you're using?
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minck
Status: Interested
Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 39
Location: Belgium
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It'll probably be in the names of the paths the images are in. Norton goes through path names and if they correspond to a certain pattern, it nixes them, with the intention of ad-blocking. I like firefox's adblock extension - you have to 'train' it, but at least it just blocks only the stuff you tell it to, like h**p://adserver.addeliverycompany.com/* , instead of blocking things in a directory like /images/* . Probably also dependent on the individual's settings - quite possible somebody right-clicks 'adblock' above an ad once, Norton tries to make a general rule for this behavior, and they end up with a very invasive blocking pattern. Somebody on wmw once posted a partial list of path strings resulting in blocking: www.webmasterworld.com/forum20/2020.htm . If you can avoid these, or use a very unique-sounding path name, your images might no longer be blocked.

Norton has also been known to throw browsers into quirks mode by its html re-writing, messing up all your nice formatting.
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vkaryl
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Location: back of beyond - s. UT, closer to Vegas than SLC
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Makes me think what needs to happen on my sites is a "pre-page" which states "If you are using any Norton product, it is likely you will not be allowed to see this site in its entirety. Please disable Norton before continuing. You should consider replacing Norton with AVG immediately."
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jeffd
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The html is generated with a simple loop, so each gallery thumbnail has exactly the same html. As minck says, norton is going in, deciding that the first 20-25 <a href><img></a> tags should become <a href></a>, and then decides for some really weird reason that the last 3 are ok, and puts out the full html.

I wrote the script myself, each link is a javascripted pop up link that opens a view window.

Truly bizarre, I have to say the last 2 years have seen a serious decline when it comes to consumer software, most companies are gettting rid of more and more configuration options, 'user friendly' I think they call it. Or hiding them, or changing them.

I've been working on a windows network this week, and I have to say I'm absolutely revolted by what the users have done to it in the last year, junk programs, random stuff, to me no standard user should be allowed to do anything to their computer at all. Cheap software creates conflicts, and users think that there is such a thing as 'software' that exists as a product, like milk, when all there is is widely varying programming and software architecture skill/budget/time levels. Just amazing.

It's not really their fault, almost every program that is installed tries to get as much room for itself as it can, usually in the system tray, the systems start clogging up, it's depressing to see.

As Andy noted, most modern computer problems exist between the keyboard and chair back. Plus sloppy programming, glitzy gui interfaces covering junk programming.
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minck
Status: Interested
Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 39
Location: Belgium
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:: Quote ::
users think that there is such a thing as 'software' that exists as a product, like milk


Really like this one, jeffd. As if software would share the same kind of space/time isolation that stuff you buy in the store does. My dad installed a 'weather widget' that went on his windows bar, and just couldn't figure out why I was so worked up about that little widget. 'Ok, ok, I'll uninstall it - I don't see my computer going any slower' etc. etc.

I've often wondered what on earth spyware / scumware manufacturers could still be getting out of users to pay for the cheap or free software their products are included with. Years ago there was 'gator' and some kind of 'top search' thingie that would highlight stuff on pages you were surfing, making links to customers or affiliate id links - there was also that notorious thing which produced popups whenever you were surfing rather fast, most of them being for some kind of wireless webcam. I figured out how to get rid of all of that fast (partially with help of Norton) when I really started surfing a lot, but that was a few years ago. No idea what the scumpuppies are concocting for the windowspuppies these days. It all seems so 'been there, done that, go download adaware.' But people say that you can still make very good money putting heinous auto-download sorts of Active-X stuff on your site. I really, really wonder what kind of scum this would be! Maybe somebody should open a virtual scum museum with descriptions, how-it-works, cleaning advice, who's responsible, maybe even the actual code, for all this scumware, in a way it's all kind of intriguing (except for the pr0n dailers, that is).

Vkaryl, I really wish I had the liberty to do that kind of thing on sites I work on - probably the first group of people I'd target for annoyance would be ie users - I just go with the 'try to keep Norton in mind when it comes to path names' and leave it with that, but as jeffd's case shows, Norton could be eating half you links without your knowing it.
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