TalkTalk Virus Alerts Scanning Engine

I’ve had a lot (in to the thousands now) of hits over the last month or so from this particular browser summary: “TalkTalk Virus Alerts Scanning Engine”. I blocked it pretty much as soon as I first saw it browsing my sites. For the first two weeks I couldn’t find anything on the net about it until laeknishendr posted an interesting article http://laeknishendr.wordpress.com/2011/05/15/talktalk-virus-alerts-scanning-engine/. This particular browser summary appears to occur every time someone from the TalkTalk group of companies browses my site. An interesting thing about this browser summary is that it doesn’t appear to be limited to a particular IP range, as seen in the image below:

It’s one thing that TalkTalk are trying to make sure their customers are not browsing sites which contain viruses, but according to the linked post, TalkTalk send their bot to the site after the customer has clicked and seen the page. That means there’s a separate page request which surely means TalkTalk cannot prevent the user seeing the website prior to it rendering on their browser the first time.. So what is the bot doing?!

Why does the bot operate across such a large amount of IP addresses?

In my opinion this is a massive invasion of privacy! It makes me glad I switched from TalkTalk two months ago.

Anyway, the browser summary is in vsf-simple-block which is doing a fine job of protecting my users’ privacy 🙂