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Block to academia.edu (107.22.174.222)


Kalvos

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This isn't an F/P. The site has been plagued with fraudulent content, countless email attempts resulted in my instead calling them, to effectively be told they were "too big" and there was "too much" for them to be able to remove it much less stop it. As such, a block was put in place.

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MB Anti-Malware blocks Academia.edu with the report that it is a "malicious website." Like Kalvos, this site is too important to avoid -- I use it frequently in my work and need others to be able to use it too. Can you please indicate the nature of the threat(s) that it poses?

 

I usually interpret "malicious" to mean virus-infected or booby-trapped with malware, yet you only mention "fraudulent content." What do you have in mind?

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The following are just some of the URLs reported to them (every last one is a fraudulent tech support scammer);

hxxps://www.academia.edu/8511137/Dissolve_Your_Kidney_Stones_by_Joe_Barton_Book_Review_-_Free_Pdf_Downloadhxxp://www.academia.edu/10084169/Yahoo_Mail_Technical_Support_Phone_Number_1-888-278-0808hxxp://www.academia.edu/10122674/1-844-780-6751_Gmail_Customer_Service_Support_Phone_Number_USA_Canadahxxp://www.academia.edu/10123003/1-844-780-6751_Gmail_Tech_Support_Phone_Number_Customer_Service_USA_Canadahxxp://www.academia.edu/10123832/1-844-780-6751_MSN_Customer_Service_Support_Number_USA_Canadahxxp://www.academia.edu/10124234/1-844-780-6751_Hotmail_Tech_Support_Phone_Number_USA_Canadahxxp://www.academia.edu/10193672/1_855_550_2552_Gmail_Customer_Service_Phone_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/10194483/1-855-531-3731_MSN_Customer_Service_Phone_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/10370022/1-800-863-0840_Gmail_Password_Recovery_Gmail_Password_Recovery_USAhxxp://www.academia.edu/10385703/1-800-863-0840_Gmail_Customer_Service_Phone_Number_Gmail_support_phone_numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/10471089/Technology_in_Banking_Serviceshxxp://www.academia.edu/10499506/1-800-863-0840_Gmail_password_recovery_Gmail_Customer_Service_Phone_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/10724114/1-800-863-0840_Gmail_Customer_Service_Phone_Number_Gmail_Customer_Support_Phone_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/10786220/1-844-952-7360_Gmail_Customer_Service_Number_Gmail_Tech_Supporthxxp://www.academia.edu/10786410/1-844-952-7360_Gmail_Customer_Service_Number_Gmail_Customer_Service_Contacthxxp://www.academia.edu/10955517/yahoo_email_customer_service_number_and_and_1-844-334-9858_Yahoo_customer_service_number_and_1-844-334-9858_hotmail_customer_service_number_1-844-334-9858_yahoo_mail_customer_service_phonehxxp://www.academia.edu/10970106/Virgin_Media_Customer_Service_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/11032931/Gmail_customer_service_number_1-844-332-7016hxxp://www.academia.edu/11075321/_1-844-780-6751_Gmail_Customer_Service_Support_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/11157055/Gmail_Customer_Service_1-844-884-7667_Phone_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/11225886/Hotmail_tech_support_number_1844-202-5571_Hotmail_customer_service_numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/11531624/1800-655-5733_quicken_customer_service_number_quicken_helpline_numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/11690677/_1-844-609-0909_at_Hotmail_customer_service_number_Toll_Free_Sign-in_Problem_Helpline_Number_toll_free_Password_Recoveryhxxp://www.academia.edu/11736502/1_844_202-5571_Gmail_Customer_Support_Phone_Number-Gmail_Customer_Service_USA_at_at_at_at_hxxp://www.academia.edu/11736529/1_844_202-5571_Gmail_Customer_Service_Toll_Free_Number_USA-Gmail_Customer_Service_USA_at_at_at_at_hxxp://www.academia.edu/11736577/1_844_202-5571_Gmail_Customer_Service_Contact_Number_USA-Gmail_Customer_Support_Phone_Number_at_at_at_at_hxxp://www.academia.edu/11754285/Quick_and_easy_solutions_by_Gmail_customer_servicehxxp://www.academia.edu/11763744/_1-844-780-6751_MSN_customer_service_USA_at_at_hxxp://www.academia.edu/11763882/_1-844-780-6751_Gmail_customer_service_USA_at_at_at_hxxp://www.academia.edu/11767325/Gmail_Customer_Service_Phone_Number_USA_1-844-202-5571_Gmail_Customer_Service_Number_USAhxxp://www.academia.edu/11791687/1-844-373-7878_Gmail_Technical_Support_Number_Gmail_Help_Numbers_Gmail_Tech_Support_Number_Gmail_Customer_Service_Number_Gmail_Customer_Support_Number_Gmail_Help_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/11791885/_at_1-844-373-7878_at_Gmail_Technical_Support_Number_at_Gmail_Customer_Service_Number_at_Gmail_Customer_Support_Number_at_Gmail_Tech_Support_Number_at_Gmail_Help_Number_Toll_free_Gmail_Support_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/11859369/Gmail_Technical_Support_Customer_Service_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/11917068/Outlook_Password_Recovery_Toll_Free_Number_1_844_449_0455hxxp://www.academia.edu/12062013/_at_at_1-844-780-6751_MSNTechnical_Support_Number_at_MSN_Help_Number_at_at_MSN_Customer_Service_Number_at_at_MSN_Technical_Support_Number_at_at_MSN_Technical_Support_Number_at_MSN_Customer_Support_Number_USAhxxp://www.academia.edu/12091554/Contact_1_-888-224-3943_Windows_Live_Mail_Customer_Service_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/12238333/Gmail_Customer_Service_Number_Gmail_Phone_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/12258637/Gmail_Phone_Number_Gmail_Customer_Service_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/12290101/Gmail_Customer_Service_Number_Gmail_Support_Number_Gmail_Help_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/12344731/1-844-780-6751_and_and_and_Gmail_Customer_Service_Helpline_Number_USA_CANADAhxxp://www.academia.edu/12397768/_at_at_at_at_Gmail_customer_service_at_at_Gmail_customer_service_699_8285_Gmail_Help_Support_Number_at_at_at_Gmail_Helpline_Number_1_844_699_8285_Gmail_Help_Support_Number_at_at_at_Gmail_customer_service_hxxp://www.academia.edu/12404175/1888_464_4012_at_at_Norton_antivirus_customer_care_numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/12504644/1-844-202-5571_Gmail_Customer_Service_Support_Contact_Number_USA_Canadahxxp://www.academia.edu/12505290/1-844-202-5571_Gmail_Customer_Service_Gmail_Support_Number_Gmail_Password_Recovery_hxxp://www.academia.edu/12661432/Gmail_Support_Number_Gmail_Customer_Service_Number_Gmail_Help_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/12876975/Need_Updated_AVG_Customer_Service_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/12880222/_1-877-778-8969_Gmail_customer_service_phone_number_united_stateshxxp://www.academia.edu/13230788/Gmail_Customer_Service_Number_Contact_Number_For_Gmailhxxp://www.academia.edu/13285192/1_855_-_867_-_5844_Dell_Printer_Tech_Support_Phone_Number_Dell_Support_Phone_Number_Dell_Tech_Support_Toll_Free_Phone_Number_Dell_Support_Number_Dell_Technical_Support_Phone_Number_USA_Canada_hxxp://www.academia.edu/13285327/Contact_Outlook.com_at_1-855-867-5844_at_Hotmail_Technical_Support_Phone_Number_hxxp://www.academia.edu/14016856/Gmail_Support_Number_Gmail_Customer_Service_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/14139323/Gmail_Customer_Service_Number_Gmail_Help_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/14354762/Gmail_Help_Number_Gmail_Customer_Service_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/3007414/Integrated_marketing_communications_in_mobile_contexthxxp://www.academia.edu/4623145/24cxi_30cxi_38cxi_gloworm_boiler_manual_0020013349-02.06.05hxxp://www.academia.edu/5130535/Citibank_Banking_Statement_of_Former_Accounts_-_12-01-11hxxp://www.academia.edu/5130946/Citibank_Banking_Statement_of_Former_Accounts_-_03-01-12hxxp://www.academia.edu/5131017/Citibank_Banking_Statement_of_Former_Accounts_-_10-01-12hxxp://www.academia.edu/5131066/Citibank_Banking_Statement_of_Former_Accounts_-_12-01-12hxxp://www.academia.edu/6173232/Anarchistcookbook2000hxxp://www.academia.edu/8712830/Gmail_Support_Number_1-877-225-1288_Gmail_technical_Support_toll_freehxxp://www.academia.edu/8858515/1-888-361-3731_MSN_Customer_Service_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/9010135/Nightmare_at_Telecom_Streethxxp://www.academia.edu/9148437/Gmail_Customer_Service_1-844-884-7667_Phone_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/9184881/Gmail_Customer_Service_Phone_Number_1-800-405-7988hxxp://www.academia.edu/9184887/Gmail_Customer_Service_Phone_Number_1-800-405-7988hxxp://www.academia.edu/9604846/_at_at_1-844-780-6751_Gmail_Technical_Support_Contact_Phone_Helpline_Number_USA_And_CANADAhxxp://www.academia.edu/9604883/1-844-780-6751_MSN_Technical_Support_Phone_Number_USA_Yahoo_Gmailhxxp://www.academia.edu/9671892/Have_Toll_Free_for_1-844-780-6751_Gmail_MSN_Outlook_Hotmail_Homail_Password_Recovery_Number_USA_Canadahxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/_Gmail_Customer_Service_Support_Phone_Number_USA_hxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/_MSN_Customer_Service_Support_Phone_Number_USA_hxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Customer_Service_Support_Number_Usahxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Customer_Service_Support_Phone_Number_hxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Customer_Service_Toll_Free_Helpline_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Tech_support_Toll_Free_Number_USAhxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Teuku.farid91_at_gmail.comhxxp://independent.academia.edu/GmailTechnicalSupportNumberhxxp://www.academia.edu/11791999/_at_at_1-844-373-7878_Gmail_Technical_Support_Number_at_Gmail_Help_Number_at_at_Gmail_Customer_Service_Number_at_at_Gmail_Technical_Support_Number_at_at_Gmail_Technical_Support_Number_at_Gmail_Customer_Support_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/11861750/Gmail_Technical_Support_Number_Gmail_Tech_Support_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/11861847/Gmail_Technical_Support_Phone_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/11861903/Gmail_technical_support_number_Gmail_technical_support_phone_number_gmail_help_phone_number_Gmail_Customer_Service_Number_Gmail_Customer_Support_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/11861961/Gmail_technical_support_number_Gmail_technical_support_phone_number_gmail_help_phone_numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/attachments/37208734/download_file?st=MTQzODkxMjEyNywyMTIuNTYuOTUuMjUz&s=work_striphxxp://www.academia.edu/attachments/37208812/download_file?st=MTQzODkxMjEyNywyMTIuNTYuOTUuMjUz&s=work_striphxxp://www.academia.edu/attachments/37208883/download_file?st=MTQzODkxMjEyNywyMTIuNTYuOTUuMjUz&s=work_striphxxp://www.academia.edu/attachments/37254165/download_file?st=MTQzODkxMjEyNywyMTIuNTYuOTUuMjUz&s=work_striphxxp://www.academia.edu/attachments/37254244/download_file?st=MTQzODkxMjEyNywyMTIuNTYuOTUuMjUz&s=work_striphxxp://www.academia.edu/attachments/37254284/download_file?st=MTQzODkxMjEyNywyMTIuNTYuOTUuMjUz&s=work_striphxxp://www.academia.edu/attachments/37254314/download_file?st=MTQzODkxMjEyNywyMTIuNTYuOTUuMjUz&s=work_striphxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/_Gmail_Tech_Support_Service_hxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/_Gmail_Tech_Support_Toll_Free_Helpline_Number_USAhxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/_Gmail_Technical_Support_Phone_Number_USA_hxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Customer-Service-Number-For-Gmailhxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Customer_Care_Number_Number_for_Customer_Supporthxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Customer_Care_Number_USAhxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Hackinghxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Online_Tech_Support_Number_Usahxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Online_Technical_Support_Help_usahxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Password_Change_Helphxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Password_Recovery_Help_USAhxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Password_Recovery_Tech_Supporthxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Password_Reset_Helphxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Tecehnical_Help_and_Services_USAhxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Tech_Supporthxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_tech_support_numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Tech_Support_Phone_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Tech_Support_Phone_Number_Usahxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Technical_Help_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Technical_Support_Contact_Number_hxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_technical_support_numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Technical_Support_Phone_Number_USAhxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Technical_Support_Phone_Number_Usa_hxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Technical_Support_Phone_Number_USA_Canadahxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Technical_Support_Usa_hxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Tembeuiameico_at_gmail.comhxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Tranhungspt_at_gmail.comhxxp://www.academia.edu/People/Gmail_Customer_Service_Support_Phone_Number_hxxp://emailcustomerservicenumber.academia.edu/tusharsharmahxxp://independent.academia.edu/HMonehxxp://independent.academia.edu/JerryRogerhxxp://independent.academia.edu/MartinMackhxxp://independent.academia.edu/MathewHadenhxxp://oxford.academia.edu/davidrayhxxp://oxford.academia.edu/surendervardiahxxp://ucf.academia.edu/jacklenwilliamhxxp://www.academia.edu/10864797/1_844_202_5571_at_Gmail_customer_support_and_service_number_at_hxxp://www.academia.edu/11599221/18443737878_Gmail_Help_Phone_Number_Gmail_Support_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/12505252/1-844-202-5571_Gmail_Technical_support_Gmail_Helpline_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/12908564/1-844-780-6762_Gmail_tech_support_phone_number_usahxxp://www.academia.edu/14062817/Gmail_support_phone_number_1-888-361-3731_toll_freehxxp://www.academia.edu/14169423/Gmail_Technical_Support_1-844-545-6709_hxxp://www.academia.edu/14169874/Gmail_Customer_Support_Number_1-844-545-6709_hxxp://www.academia.edu/14170260/How_Can_I_Recover_Gmail_Account_Password_1-844-545-6709_hxxp://www.academia.edu/attachments/36292300/download_file?st=MTQzODkxMjI3NCwyMTIuNTYuOTUuMjUz&s=work_striphxxp://www.academia.edu/attachments/36667311/download_file?st=MTQzODkxMjI3NCwyMTIuNTYuOTUuMjUz&s=work_striphxxp://www.academia.edu/attachments/37208812/download_file?st=MTQzODkxMjI3NCwyMTIuNTYuOTUuMjUz&s=work_striphxxp://www.academia.edu/attachments/37697527/download_file?st=MTQzODkxMjI3NCwyMTIuNTYuOTUuMjUz&s=work_striphxxp://www.academia.edu/attachments/37767193/download_file?st=MTQzODkxMjI3NCwyMTIuNTYuOTUuMjUz&s=work_striphxxp://www.academia.edu/attachments/37876493/download_file?st=MTQzODkxMjI3NCwyMTIuNTYuOTUuMjUz&s=work_striphxxp://www.academia.edu/attachments/38193146/download_file?st=MTQzODkxMjI3NCwyMTIuNTYuOTUuMjUz&s=work_striphxxp://www.academia.edu/attachments/38222356/download_file?st=MTQzODkxMjI3NCwyMTIuNTYuOTUuMjUz&s=work_striphxxp://www.academia.edu/attachments/38222466/download_file?st=MTQzODkxMjI3NCwyMTIuNTYuOTUuMjUz&s=work_striphxxp://www.academia.edu/attachments/38222601/download_file?st=MTQzODkxMjI3NCwyMTIuNTYuOTUuMjUz&s=work_striphxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmailhxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Customer_Care_Phone_Number_Usahxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Customer_Service_Phone_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Customer_Support_Email_Id_hxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Email_Password_Recovery_help_hxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Helpline_Phone_Numberhxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Online_Customer_Servicehxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Password_Recovery_Number_Usahxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Password_Reset_Help-1hxxp://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Gmail_Password_Reset_Phone_Number

All reported countless times via email and phone, and all still valid as of a check a few days ago (not surprising given the call I had with them about this)

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Thanks for posting the evidence, Stephen.

 

I don't dispute that Academia.edu staff are wholly unresponsive, as that has been my experience of them too. But it looks to me like most of this objectionable stuff just consists of uploaded documents with an obvious agenda, i.e. false advertising, a problem that is endemic to pretty much every hosting service where members are allowed to upload their own content. 

 

I'd make three comments: (1) Most users of the site are researchers providing and searching for academic/university-level content, and are thus fairly unlikely to fall for scams that are obviously out of place in such an environment. (2) The site's content is huge, and even a list as long as you present is only a minuscule proportion of the site's total content. (3) Academia.edu is *the* major networking platform for academics in the humanities, just as ResearchGate is the main platform for the scientific community.

 

If visitors to the site are not exposing their computers to unseen attacks from malicious software, and if the only danger is of being duped by pages uploaded by scammers who are clearly out of place in the context of a university-level academic platform, I would politely suggest that it is not justified to have MB Anti-Malware block the whole platform as malicious. This is especially so given its established importance to the university sector and to humanities researchers in particular.

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Sorry, untenable.This block has left me scrambling for the past hour to complete critical communications with colleagues, and locked my students out of assignments, requiring me to reschedule due dates, and ... Shall I go on? There may be 40k phish/spam URLs in there somewhere, but I've never encountered a single one, and if I did, I'm smart enough to avoid it, because seeing as it's academia.edu, most legitimate users have PhDs and all. We don't as a rule bite on clickbait.  If I have to choose between Malwarebytes and Academia.edu, Academia wins. 

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With all due respect, you may be smart enough to avoid them - not everyone is you however. Yes most using academia.edu may have PHDs, but again it's not about those people. These are showing up in general searches, which is how average "non-PHD" Joe is finding them and thus, falling for them.

 

A site owner is responsible for the content on their site, and that is what it comes down to.

 

As noted above however, there's a call between us today about this very issue and with any luck, the offending content will be removed and thus, so will the block. In the meantime, you can exclude the site from the blocks if necessary (I realize this is not ideal, but as I've said many times before, I don't block sites just for the hell of it).

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