Major Australian websites caught in Microsoft SmartScreen phishing filter

Users visiting popular Australian websites including Supercheap, Jaycar, even Federation Uni and LaTrobe websites are all displaying phishing warnings to users. The issue seems to have began earlier today...

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Users visiting popular Australian websites including Supercheap, Jaycar, even Federation Uni and LaTrobe websites are all displaying phishing warnings to users. The issue seems to have began earlier today and is produced by Microsoft’s SmartScreen. Typically SmartScreen will prevent users from accessing malicious websites that attempt to steal user data or install viruses and spyware.

In this instance, it looks like SmartScreen is severely overblocking, or has someone found a way to automate phishing reports. Users can normally report sites for phishing by going to Tools > Safety > Report unsafe website, but there’d be a reasonable tolerance of reports required before Microsoft would deem the site unsafe.

However this occurred, it needs to be fixed and fast. These scary red warnings are impacting businesses dramatically. I can’t speak for all, but in most cases, there’s actually nothing wrong with these sites and users would be safe to continue to them. Even if you’re a determined user and click the ‘More information’ drop down, you’re met a continue option that says ‘Disregard and continue (not recommended) and rightly so, most would back out.

The problem is effecting users running Internet Explorer (9 and above) in Windows 8 / 8.1 and those of us running Windows 10 and even effects the new Project Spartan browser.

The current list of websites effected by this includes:

If you know of more, leave a comment on this post.

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