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  • If you’re dealing with UK government websites, bend waaaaaaaay over and kiss your keester

    Home Forums AskWoody blog If you’re dealing with UK government websites, bend waaaaaaaay over and kiss your keester

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    This topic contains 22 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  Lugh 5 months ago.

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    • #1660584 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      Actually, the best solution is to use Chrome or Firefox, but…. Every single Windows patch this month has broken a protocol known as HSTS for domains
      [See the full post at: If you’re dealing with UK government websites, bend waaaaaaaay over and kiss your keester]

      5 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1660761 Reply

      geekdom
      AskWoody Plus

      Who tests this stuff? Us. We test this stuff.

      Group G{ot backup} TestBeta
      Win7Pro · x64 · SP1 · i3-3220 · RAM 8GB · Firefox: uBlock Origin - NoScript · HDD · Canon Printer · Microsoft Security Essentials · Windows: Backup - System Image - Rescue Disk - Firewall
      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1661374 Reply

        anonymous

        Since we’re the ones who test this stuff, lemme add my two cents’ worth:

        I had been able to get to the support page for Avast Business that deals with their patch for last month’s snafu between MS and their A/V products, both Avast and AVG for business. Read the article on the site and found out that my AVG Free installation had been “patched” as well. I used a little extrapolation from the info in the article to verify this.

        Fast forward to today and after having installed the May parches for Win7 per Woody’s behest, I now find myself unable to view the Avast support page with either IE or with Firefox. Both browsers are fully patched. When I browse to the Avast page, all I get is a blank page, nothing else, but the page appears in the browser as having fully loaded.

        Before anyone asks, yes, I’ve allowed cookies and scripting. Firefox didn’t detect any tracking to block, so tracking protection’s not the issue causing the blank page. The link in question is https://kb.support.business.avast.com/GetPublicArticle?title=Windows-machines-running-Avast-for-Business-and-Cloud-Care-Freezing-on-Start-up , but even trying to go to the basic page for Avast business support’s knowledge base (kb.support.business.avast.com) yields nothing but a blank page.

        Since I’ve noticed that the Avast English language site is in the UK, I wonder if the HSTS snafu is more than just with the UK government sites?

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #1661586 Reply

          anonymous

          As a follow-up. I just download and installed Firefox Portable. Right out of the box, I went to the Avast site I mentioned in the post right above, and the same thing happened,,,nothing but a blank page. Will now try going to the site on my phone and tablet. Will post shortly with the results.

          • #1661698 Reply

            anonymous

            As promised, further follow-up: Went to the site with my Android-based phone using Firefox and using Chrome (both latest version available) and same thing…nothing but a blank page. Now for the tablet!

        • #1661668 Reply

          T
          AskWoody Plus

          Same for me and i haven’t installed any of the may updates. I’m sure it’s a problem on avast’s end because i’ve tried in firefox and pale moon for desktop and the brave and duckduckgo browsers on mobile and the business support pages just don’t exist, it’s most peculiar. As user skiph points out

          When I right-click on the empty web page, and do a “View Page Source…”, all it shows is !DOCTYPE HTML and nothing else, so I’m assuming it is an “empty” web page.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #1663692 Reply

            SkipH
            AskWoody Plus

            As to not cross-post the 2 posts about the Avast site, might want to see post #1662067

            and post #1662573

            1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1661246 Reply

      John
      AskWoody Lounger

      Not like Microsoft doesn’t have people in the UK that could be testing from their end. But every month we seem to ask the same question. “Who is testing this stuff”? Maybe we should be asking “Is anyone testing this stuff”? Besides us the end user who then faces the dilemma’s from things that break because of forced updates.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1668389 Reply

        Lugh
        AskWoody_MVP

        Not like Microsoft doesn’t have people in the UK that could be testing from their end.

        It didn’t work that way in the software manufacturer I worked for a long time ago—but maybe practices have changed since.

        With frequent updates & upgrades going out to 200 countries, it would be a nightmare to manage such a feedback system. The only efficient system is internal test suites, which of course also need continual updating to deal with the ever-changing environment in those 200 countries.

        My guess is someone in MS UK didn’t tell someone in Windows engineering, or the recipient didn’t tell someone in whatever country that particular Windows update was being worked on, or…
        Or maybe they did, but the test suite didn’t get updated in time, or…

        Or someone made a mistake.

        As JohnW pointed out in another thread about medical use of Win7, it’s very easy to criticize from the outside when we have no or little comprehension of what the processes are or the degree of inter-connected complexity.

        Lugh.
        ~
        Alienware Aurora R6; Win10 Home x64 1803; Office 365 x32
        i7-7700; GeForce GTX 1060; 16GB DDR4 2400; 1TB SSD, 256GB SSD, 4TB HD

    • #1662229 Reply

      BobT
      AskWoody Lounger

      We don’t have “keesters” in the U.K, mate. 😛

      I’ve installed the May patches, and my council’s site is fine. However yes they are correct that Doncaster’s isn’t working.

      The main .gov.uk domain is fine too. So this only affects some, specific sites, and not as bad as it makes out.

      Doncaster council are probably bricking it though, heh.

      You may want to fix your headline btw, I presume it’s .gov.uk rather than uk.gov.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      woody, b
      • #1665962 Reply

        warrenrumak
        AskWoody Plus

        About that doncaster.gov.uk site…. it’s served with HTTP.

        There -is-, in fact, a https://www.doncaster.gov.uk/ …. but it’s a different site!  If you visit the root of the HTTPS site, it redirects back to HTTP!

        That’s……. really quite not a good design at all.  Whoever did this needs to be put in a corner with a dunce cap and made to think about it for a while.

        Maybe this’ll be the wake-up call some lazy IT folks need in the UK government to start adopting some actually good security practices.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #1666473 Reply

          b
          AskWoody Plus

          Maybe this’ll be the wake-up call some lazy IT folks need in the UK government to start adopting some actually good security practices.

          Which is the reasoning behind a White House petition to do much the same in the U.S.:

          We think there is a quick way to force .gov websites to migrate to HTTPS: the General Services Administration needs to add the .gov TLD to the HSTS Preload List.
          Now, this is going to break some of these websites. But it’s also going to force action a lot more quickly than executive orders and gubernatorial mandates could ever hope to.

          Petition: Add the .gov TLD to the HSTS preload list

          Knuckle dragger Cannon fodder Chump Daft glutton Idiot Crazy/Ignorant Toxic drinker Blockhead Unwashed mass Seeker/Sucker "Ancient/Obsolete" (Group ASAP) Win10 v.1909

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1662504 Reply

      magic
      AskWoody Lounger

      Now I’m feeling guilty for not insider testing this mess! 🤣

      This change (who requested it anyway?) should have tripped some alert at Microsoft. We’re enterprise customers and they’re hosting services for customers on subdomains of this TLD.

      Finally got a support call logged for this. Let’s see how Microsoft respond.

    • #1664923 Reply

      lurks about
      AskWoody Lounger

      As for who is testing anything at MS, the users only with MS only occasionally bothering to pay attention to user reports. How extensive this SNAFU is, do not know, but it is something that could checked with a competent internal testing regime.

    • #1669203 Reply

      Alex5723
      AskWoody Plus

      after having installed the May parches for Win7 per Woody’s behest, I now find myself unable to view the Avast support page with either IE or with Firefox.

      Well, I run Windows 1809 Pro with 4.2019 updates (no 5.2019) and use Chrome Version 75.0.3770.38 (Official Build) beta (64-bit) and Firefox 60.6.3esr. I get a blank screen using both to browse to https://kb.support.business.avast.com/GetPublicArticle?title=Windows-machines-running-Avast-for-Business-and-Cloud-Care-Freezing-on-Start-up .

      So, at least this url has nothing to do with May 2019 updates on any version of Windows.

    • #1672971 Reply

      anonymous

      GOV.UK
      Use a non-Microsoft Browser.
      JOB DONE !

    • #1678006 Reply

      Maincat
      AskWoody Plus

      Well, no problem here accessing gov.uk sites.

      Perhaps you need to a) sort out your headline and b) sort out your web site – it’s so slow to load that I sometimes lose interest and move on.

      • #1678146 Reply

        b
        AskWoody Plus

        The issue is only for some gov.uk sites, and only with IE11/Edge, as the blog article (and the Microsoft link) specifies.

        Knuckle dragger Cannon fodder Chump Daft glutton Idiot Crazy/Ignorant Toxic drinker Blockhead Unwashed mass Seeker/Sucker "Ancient/Obsolete" (Group ASAP) Win10 v.1909

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1684843 Reply

        woody
        Da Boss

        Believe me, we’re well aware of the slowdown. People who work behind the scenes are getting it even worse.

        It should be getting better. I hope.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1680264 Reply

      ScotchJohn
      AskWoody Plus

      Thank you, Microsoft, I can’t view my Self Assessment account.  “Service unavailable – you will be able to use the service later” they say.  When is “later”?

      It matters not whether I use Firefox, Chrome or Opera, all return the same result.

       

      Oh, and we don’t do “keesters” here!

      Dell E5570 Latitude, Intel Core i5 6440@2.60 GHz, 8.00 GB - Win 10 Pro

      • #1682359 Reply

        anonymous

        The lack of more in depth testing has been a kick in the bum for everybody, perhaps it is naive thought but perhaps this failure might have been caught. Maybe Microsoft will find a way add this to a test suite.

    • #1705201 Reply

      anonymous

      MS does nothing to almost nothing from the feedback it gets. MS should hide or move to archive all report issues that were fixed (zero fixed to date by my count) so to clear up the feedback hub or move obsolete version (too many version are of Windows 10 that causes issues) feedback to another section. Plus it should be easier to merge similar issues into one. Rather than have 400 or more topics about the same issue. This is why many things are over look at the feedback hub. But that is typical at MS the more confusion the less MS has to do.

      • #1714345 Reply

        Lugh
        AskWoody_MVP

        MS does nothing to almost nothing from the feedback it gets.

        How sure are you of that claim? What you recount sounds to me much more like slipshod management of the reporting process. Business is littered with examples of that, under the general umbrella of poor communication and customer relationship management.

        Lugh.
        ~
        Alienware Aurora R6; Win10 Home x64 1803; Office 365 x32
        i7-7700; GeForce GTX 1060; 16GB DDR4 2400; 1TB SSD, 256GB SSD, 4TB HD

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

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