WordPress.com: Engeneering Happiness?

Well, well, well…after a couple of weeks I finally got a response from the WordPress people on my question of why the blog community’s web server is being flagged as ”malicious” by my web browsers secure DNS feature. Someone who entitled herself as a “Happiness Engineer” provided me with the following clue:

We personally do not experience any problem accessing wordpress.com using other browsers.”

Gabriel

Imagine contacting the police to report some criminal activity you’ve observed through your  window at home and the officers only reply is: “Go look out another window.” Ms. Gabriel at WordPress.com did certainly not manage to make me any happier.

But I thought I should follow her advice.

So, I logged on with Firefox Aurora, (with the TOR proxy enabled).

After a few seconds the message you see here on the right side appeared.

In other words: WordPress.com pretends to give you a secure https connection to their servers, but in reality it is not.

So, let’s have a look at some details:

Please, have a closer look at the screenshot of the security warning in the previous post.

(Why I Have Stopped Blogging at WordPress.com).

If you click the picture, you will be redirected to this URL:

https://wordpress.com/#!/fresh/

Or:

https://wordpress.com/#1/fresh/

Or perhaps:

http://wordpress.com/#%21/fresh/

See anything suspicious?

Now, try to right-click on the same picture and select these options:

In Internet Explorer:”copy shortcut”.

And you might get this:

http://botd2.wordpress.com/botd.gif?blog=12309390&post=0&lang=en&date=1316770624&ip=80.202.234.182

The actual link for the picture is supposed to be:

https://twistedeconotwist.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/wp-screenshot.png?w=500&h=284

You can also try to use Firefox, right-click on “Copy Link Location”.

You may get something like this:

http://api.viglink.com/api/click?format=go&key=cdee124b11d6baacda6c3
e29b12e23dc&loc=http%3A%2F%2Ftwistedeconotwist.wordpress.com%2F&v=1&
libid=1317305383283&out=http%3A%2F%2Fwordpress.com%2F%23%2521%2Ffres

h%2F&ref=http%3A%2F%2Ftwistedeconotwist.wordpress.com%2F2011%2F09%2F
23%2Fwhy-i-have-stopped-blogging-at-wordpress-
com%2Fwpscreenshot%2F&title=EconoTwist’s%20%7C%20A%20Twisted%20Mind%
2C%20A%20Sharp%20Pen%2C%20A%20Helluva%20Story&txt=&jsonp=vglnk_jsonp
_13173055739756

PLEASE NOTE!

Before you try to click on any of the above links, I strongly recommend you read the rest of this post.

Today's Greeting from WordPress.com: Don't worry - browse happy!


Because I did another experiment – I traced the route my date use from my computers to the WordPress.com servers.

Here’s the long and winding road:

(First attempt)

Hopp     IP Adresse            Vertsnavn             Responstid

====      ==========        =========          ==========

1             Ikke svar fra verten

2             Ikke svar fra verten

3             Ikke svar fra verten

4             Ikke svar fra verten

5             Ikke svar fra verten

6             Ikke svar fra verten

7             213.155.131.88   kbn-bb2-link.telia.net        39 ms

8             80.91.249.29       nyk-bb2-link.telia.net        124 ms

9             213.155.131.243                chi-bb1-link.telia.net          138 ms

10           213.248.81.142   internap-ic-140145-chi-bb1.c.telia.net          139 ms

11           64.94.32.10          border5.po1-bbnet1.chg.pnap.net  148 ms

12           74.217.8.10          layeredtech-6.border5.chg.pnap.net              291 ms

13           74.200.241.190                  139 ms

14           74.200.247.188   wordpress.com    149 ms

Tracking Completed

(Second attempt)

Hopp     IP Adresse            Vertsnavn             Responstid

====      ==========        =========          ==========

1             10.0.0.1 speedtouch.lan    55 ms

2             80.202.229.1       1.80-202-229.nextgentel.com         15 ms

3             217.13.0.37          217-13-0-37.dd.nextgentel.com      22 ms

4             84.48.3.25            25.84-48-3.nextgentel.com              23 ms

5             84.48.3.129          129.84-48-3.nextgentel.com            24 ms

6             213.248.104.117                                22 ms

7             213.155.131.88   kbn-bb2-link.telia.net        34 ms

8             80.91.249.29       nyk-bb2-link.telia.net        129 ms

9             213.155.131.243                chi-bb1-link.telia.net          138 ms

10           213.248.81.142   internap-ic-140145-chi-bb1.c.telia.net          138 ms

11           64.94.32.10          border5.po1-bbnet1.chg.pnap.net  149 ms

12           74.217.8.10          layeredtech-6.border5.chg.pnap.net              140 ms

13           74.200.241.190                  139 ms

14           74.200.247.188   wordpress.com    146 ms

Tracing Completed

Some of you may have stumbled over information like this.  

That’s right: Most online communication to and from the USA is now monitored or filtered by the authorities.

Here’s some more from Wikipedia:

“With the advent of programs such as the Total Information Awareness program and ADVISE, technologies such as high speed surveillance computers and biometrics software, and laws such as the Communications Assistance For Law Enforcement Act, governments now possess an unprecedented ability to monitor the activities of their subjects.”

Since IP addresses can be falsified, altered or changed, I do not spend much time trying to trace them.

I just state that whatever you post on your WordPress blog is being re-routed through some filters at “God-knows-where” by “God-knows-who,” before it reaches the “secure” servers of WordPress.com.

This also seems to be related to a story about a serious security breach at WordPress.com/org, hitting the news earlier this year, described as a “root infection.”

By following some of the leads mentioned above, I also found some interesting information in a forum at www.virginmedia.com – one of UK’s largest internet service providers:

F001623175: Routing issues to certain websites

[ Edited ] on 03-06-2011 21:02 – last edited on 04-06-2011 23:53

Hi all,

“Edit 1: This issue should now been resolved for the majority of customers. Please can you retest and let us know if you are still experiencing issues.”

“Edit 2: If you are still experiencing issues with your service, please can you perform a trace route to bbc.co.uk. If you see “wake-”  on any of hops on the trace route, we are aware of issues with traffic running via this UBR. This is raised under ticket reference number F001626122. Our engineers are working on the issue and the estimated fix date is currently 09/06/11. We are not expecting any further updates on this issue until Monday 06/06/11. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.”

“We are aware that some of our customers are experiencing issues accessing certain websites including but not limited to HSBC and BBC News. This has been raised to our network team under reference number F001623175. Our engineers are looking into the issue and hope to resolve the issue as soon as possible. As part of our investigation, our network team may require further information to identify the root cause of the problem.”

And this post also reveals that the problem of unauthorized access to servers is not limited to WordPress – not by a long shot…

“Some websites we know may be affected (please note we are not responsible for the content of these external sites):”

hsbc.co.uk
wordpress.com
wordpress.org
posterous.com
linkedin.com
bbc.co.uk
goldcar.es/en
natwest.com
barclays.co.uk
nationwide.co.uk
img.thesun.co.uk
Tubemogul
Santander
nvidia.co.uk
guardian.co.uk
theregister.co.uk
dailymail.co.uk
scienceblogs.com
virginmedia.com
names.co.uk
jjbsports.com
transfer.lotro.com
forums.lotro.com
deviantart.com/
photobucket.com
mountune.co.uk
forums.m3cutters.co.uk
www.ebuyer.com
drunkengoldfish.com
digitalspy.co.uk
eukhost.com
techdirt.com
hexus.net
forums.nvidia.com
speedtest.bbmax.co.uk
speedtest.net
addons.mozilla.org

That’s quite a prominent list….

Oh, and by the way – this is what happened when I first tried to upload this post:

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Laws and Regulations, Philosophy, Technology

4 responses to “WordPress.com: Engeneering Happiness?

  1. Shandra Lacava

    Don’t be afraid to speak out! I think it’s important to get the word out in any way you can. Good work.

  2. Caleb Bierstedt

    The subsequent time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I imply, I know it was my choice to read, however I actually thought youd have one thing attention-grabbing to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about one thing that you possibly can repair if you werent too busy looking for attention.

  3. Credits for children

    Excellent post. I was checking constantly this weblog and I am inspired! Extremely helpful information specifically the final phase 🙂 I take care of such information a lot. I was looking for this particular info for a very long time. Thanks and good luck.

  4. forex trading software

    I love your writing style truly loving this website.
    “Slow and steady wins the race.” by Robert Lloyd.