F-Secure is Blocking Websites

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DavyLock75
DavyLock75 Posts: 5 Observer
edited October 2023 in F-Secure Internet Security

Hi FS Community,

I have a windows 10 laptop with F-Secure Safe installed wich has been working OK for several years. However, recently experiencing problems with blocked websites which I know are OK. Blocked websites even include my Micosoft account. Messages appear stating that the website is not secure, or there is a message stating " ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR".

Have tried various solutions to try to rectify the situation - but all failed.

Have just uninstalled the F-Secure Safe program and all is now working OK - but of course my laptop no longer has protection.

So the problem is with F-Secure. Has anyone experienced the same or has a solution ?

Thanks

Accepted Answer

  • Ville
    Ville Posts: 680 F-Secure Product Expert
    Answer ✓
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    We had a problem with some known websites getting categorized as 'unknown' at around 14th and 15th of April. This issue has been fixed. Please go to Settings / Support and run "Reset reputation cache". This makes sure your device does not have any bad ratings locally cached.

    Ville

    F-Secure R&D, Desktop products

Answers

  • DavyLock75
    DavyLock75 Posts: 5 Observer
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    Hi Ville,

    Thanks for your message. I can not find any reference to "reputational cache". However, I have cleared the cache/ temporary files but this has no effect. Anyway, I do not think that this is a pc issue. I have just purchased a brand new pc; installed F-Secure Safe and experiened exactly the same problem as with my old pc. Clearly, because the problem is also with the new pc, it can not be caused by a cache issue or any other pc issue.

    The only common elements between the two pcs (of different manufacturer) is Windows (although one is version 10 and the other is version 11), Virgin Media Broadband and F-Secure Safe. So my guess is that the problems is with F-Secure; perhaps resulting from a recent software update.

    You will appreciate that this is very frustrating and because I currently have no virus/ browsing protection, I will be forced to switch to another provider.

    Regards

    Dave

  • Ukko
    Ukko Posts: 3,634 Superuser
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    Hello,

    Sorry for my reply. I am only an F-secure user.

    Thanks for your message. I can not find any reference to "reputational cache". However, I have cleared the cache/ temporary files but this has no effect

    "Reset reputation cache" was about F-Secure settings (and you tried, maybe, clear up in browser - which is also fine).

    Rough steps to find "Reset reputation cache" (Clear cache) are:

    -> rightclick for F-Secure tray logo;

    -> 'Open settings' entry of menu;

    -> 'Support' tab in the left-side panel of Settings;

    -> Scroll down right-side panel of Support tab till "Reset reputation cache" is visible*;

    *Administrators rights are required to clear cache.

    Mentioned there: What's New in F-Secure SAFE for PC and Internet Security - F-Secure Community (as "Other improvements" for Version 18.3 (4.80.1649) release). But since you tried with a fresh PC, perhaps, should not affect anything.

    However, since maybe there are different troubles and mentioned 'fixed' situation is not applied to your experience.

    I feel that if F-Secure will block something directly as harmful or rated as dangerous - you should see F-Secure branded blockpage. Especially, if F-Secure Browsing Protection extension is active (for HTTPS support); And always if there is HTTP website connection.

    "ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR" will be visible if F-Secure browser's addon is disabled / not installed and HTTPS page is opened (Checking that browser extensions are in use | Total | Latest | F-Secure User Guides).

    I do not see any other why F-Secure will block something. But it is a good idea to check what is status of F-Secure Security Cloud connection (it is possible to find in the place, which described there: Viewing the latest updates | Total | Latest | F-Secure User Guides)

    And, for example, my experience is not about any sudden 'harmful'-ratings for known websites.

    Since there was a mention about 'unknown'-categorization - I do use Parental control profile with Content Blocker, where "unknown/uncategorized/unrated content" is chosen (Editing content filtering settings | Total | Latest | F-Secure User Guides). I do not know if it should affect normal / adult profiles of F-Secure SAFE installation, but after a very brief try - I did not manage to get 'same' trouble without Content Blocker. So, it should not perhaps.

    I still with some 'misratings' for resources (outlook, for example) - but probably your experience is about something else.

    As a random guess - can you try to disable Adblocker feature in F-Secure SAFE (described there: Blocking advertisements on websites | Total | Latest | F-Secure User Guides). You mentioned Microsoft Account (at least, free plan of its mail service with some advertisements if I remember right).

    If no difference after - can you add a bit more information like:

    • your browser (and if it is possible to reproduce this trouble with another browser in your system);
    • maybe, a screenshot about 'safe' example of blocking website (I mean, exact wording of 'resulted' page and some URL-piece).
    • maybe, to find out how 'recently' you start experiencing these problems. days, weeks..

    But it will be very strange if you only met this trouble / impact.

    Thanks!

  • DavyLock75
    DavyLock75 Posts: 5 Observer
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    Hellow Ukko,

    Thanks for your message and for pointing me to the right location for repution cache - so that is now actioned, but no effect. Have disabled add blocker - no effect.

    FSecure browser extension is active. However, when I originally tried to download with FSecure switched on it would not work and showed a download error "Image Decode Failed". I could only download the extension with FSecure disabled. Very odd.

    For the websites that are blocked e.g. Micosoft, GMail, Ebay, Topcashback; even when the address is entered in the Website Exceptions part of the FSecure tools, the website remains blocked.

    There is however no problem with the secure banking part of FSecure.

    Thanks again for your help. This is a complete mistry !

    Regards

    Dave

  • DavyLock75
    DavyLock75 Posts: 5 Observer
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    Hello again Ukko,

    Further to my earlier message. I have just spoken to the FSecure helpline (which I should have done much earlier) and have been advised that this problem is known to FSecure and is affecting many customers worldwide. They believe that the problem is with the browser extension software. They are currenly working on a fix.

    I am very disappointed with FSecure. They should be more pro-active in informing customers what is going on.

    Regards

    Dave

  • Ukko
    Ukko Posts: 3,634 Superuser
    edited April 2023
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    Hello,

    Sorry for the further discussion (because I see only the fastest possible solution to the problem as a happy end):

    FSecure browser extension is active. However, when I originally tried to download with FSecure switched on it would not work and showed a download error "Image Decode Failed". I could only download the extension with FSecure disabled. Very odd.

    Indeed, quite odd. But very 'explainable' if F-Secure solution blocked (blocks) some resources for some reason. Well, I mean, the problem you originally described, but applied to the resources of the Google Chrome (?) store, where the extensions were taken from. When F-Secure was turned off, no 'wrong' blocking happened anymore (but, most likely, it shouldn't have happened even with it turned on; if not for this strange reason for the described trouble).

    For the websites that are blocked e.g. Micosoft, GMail, Ebay, Topcashback; even when the address is entered in the Website Exceptions part of the FSecure tools, the website remains blocked.

    Thanks for the examples. Sadly, I did not manage to test it myself (or if the problem is still relevant, I haven't been able to reproduce it yet). But I find it 'odd' that adding to the 'allowed' list of websites did not help. Have you tried adding just the main domain? like "ebay.com" (or sort of)? Or maybe some other "subdomain" was actually blocked.

    I have just spoken to the FSecure helpline (which I should have done much earlier) and have been advised that this problem is known to FSecure and is affecting many customers worldwide. They believe that the problem is with the browser extension software. They are currenly working on a fix.

    It's good that at least they already know about some problems (and some already solved).

    But it sounds strange a bit, anyway.

    For example, as I understand it - your problem was not clearly pinned to the BrowsingProtection addon. Or if so, was it possible to solve it (as a workaround) by disabling the extension? As such, protection would still have to be provided and connections to malicious websites would have to be prevented. But if there were no "wrong" blocks, then it would be quite a suitable (temporary) solution.

    but somehow it looks more like the problem was with something like DNS queries (and some sort of filtering). And, maybe, is not directly pinned to extension. At least, I will then be able to understand most of the described details of your problem.

    Still, if the problem is still present - can you try disabling the browser's extension and see if there is something better?

    Thanks!

  • DavyLock75
    DavyLock75 Posts: 5 Observer
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    Hello Ukko,

    Have just been advised by FSecure (following a diagnostic test on my PC) that the problem is associated with the Family Rules setting within FSecure.

    The solution is to :-

    1. Log in to F-Secure account.

    2. Select the device name. 

    3. Select Family Rules, then head over to Content Filtering

    4. Disable the Content Filtering by turning of the switch.

    This solution has proved successful !

    However, the Family Rules feature has always been there over several years without any problem nd I can not understand why the categories that are blocked have anything to do with the safe websites (such as Microsoft and Gmail) that I have been trying to access.

    But pleased that the situation has now been resolved.

    Regards

    Dave

  • Ukko
    Ukko Posts: 3,634 Superuser
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    Hello,

    Thanks for your feedback.

    Have just been advised by FSecure (following a diagnostic test on my PC) that the problem is associated with the Family Rules setting within FSecure.

    It looks like your experience is partially (can be) related with my experience (which I mentioned about Content blocker).

    And, also, perhaps the original reply with the suggestion to reset reputation cache was a very valid one. But just maybe there were more problems (or there is a situation that is not considered a problem).

    However, the Family Rules feature has always been there over several years without any problem nd I can not understand why the categories that are blocked have anything to do with the safe websites (such as Microsoft and Gmail) that I have been trying to access.

    As with original response from F-Secure: "" some known websites getting categorized as 'unknown' "" - perhaps, it was enough to get difficulties with category or reputation-score for certain websites. As a result, erroneously or unexpectedly - blocked.

    I'm using Content filtering with most categories (where "unknown content/uncategorized/unrated"-category with (?)-logo is also included). So, my experience was about Google resources (actually, attempting to login with web-Gmail) and Outlook main page blocked as "unknown content". So even if you didn't use such a category, then some "dropping" reputation or categorization even for such safe websites was possible. Accordingly, it may be due to the impossibility of obtaining a reputation score or a category (or a very specific state) - it was poured into a blocking problem.

    However, I'd rather end up with my wild speculation. :)

    But pleased that the situation has now been resolved.

    Because that's the most important thing.

    Thanks!

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