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I was notified today that a site I admin is showing up to Internet Explorer users as a phishing website.

Microsoft phishing alert

Of course, it actually is not a phishing website and never has been. GWT shows me no evidence of malware or phishing or anything else wrong. Nor did a malware scan find anything.

I've also checked the site and it comes up clean with:

I have already submitted it to Microsoft for removal, and Microsoft already notified me that they will be removing it.

What I want to know is how did it get listed in the first place? I am aware that users can submit websites as phishing sites from within IE, but doesn't Microsoft even attempt to verify these submissions? Or is there another way that Microsoft lists sites as phishing websites? How can I prevent my site from being incorrectly listed in the first place?

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    Check to see if your site is listed in one of these: mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx This may not be a complete list of blacklists, however, it is a good start. It may be that your site was listed for a brief time and now clear. But I suggest checking to make sure that are no issues that still need to be addressed. – closetnoc Feb 2 '15 at 19:13
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    Blacklists are often triggers for this and even a short reporting on a blacklist can cause this at least with Google. Some blacklists allow people to report sites for various things and then it is confirmed manually. It could have been a toolbar too. Someone may have clicked on a button of some sort. Sometimes these things are noticed using a bot which can make mistakes. This world is constantly in flux and seldom talked about. As long as you are clear from the major blacklists, you should be okay. I have not studied this in a long while. Perhaps I need to look again. – closetnoc Feb 2 '15 at 19:20
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    Do you use a 3rd party ad network that is perhaps (at times) serving malicious ads to certain visitors?! – MrWhite Feb 3 '15 at 8:48
  • @w3d Good guess, but we don't use third party ad networks at all. – Michael Hampton Feb 3 '15 at 14:00
  • sitecheck.sucuri.net – mezzo Feb 3 '15 at 21:04
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According to http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/smartscreen-filter-frequently-asked-questions-ie9, as far as I can tell, malicious websites are reported by users.
Also, you can report your site as safe by clicking "More Information", then, "Report that this site does not contain threats".

  • If that's the only way sites get listed, then we have malicious users. And no sign of verification of submissions on the part of Microsoft. – Michael Hampton Feb 8 '15 at 2:38

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