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Advice on site access: firewall/cookies

  1. Apr 30, 2006 #1


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    This site is setting off alarm bells in my head.

    I need access to the site, but wish to know if I'm compromising security.

    This is the page causing the problem:
    (lower left: choose a line name such as 3M, then hit Search Now)

    This is the message I get:

    Page Cannot Be Displayed

    You have encountered this page for one of the following reasons:

    • The page you are currently looking for cannot be found or you have entered an invalid URL.

    • Cookies are required for certain functionalities on this website and you do not have them enabled.

    • You are using a Firewall / Proxy / Anonymizer / Ad blocker that strips vital http headers and doesn't allow this page to load properly.
    Make sure that you are not blocking the HTTP_REFERER field. On various firewalls, especially from Symantec/Norton, this feature appears as the privacy settings. This has nothing to do with privacy and it is a standard HTTP protocol field.

    Please note that you don't have to disable the firewall, just enable the referer field.

    You may need to close all your browser windows for firewall changes to take effect.

    I have cookies enabled, so I am worried about #3. Is this site trying to do something to my system by getting me to mess with my firewall?

    One thing that is odd: I have NO trouble accessing this content on my wireless laptop and have checked other computers that are OK. It is only on my wired desktop that I get this error. I am gone though Privacy and secuirty settings to ensure that they are identical on both. I have identical versions of IE on each.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 30, 2006 #2


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    Science Advisor

    The HTTP_REFERRER just gives the URL of the site that linked to the current page, it can be accessed by PHP, ASP scripts. I use this in my website to find out who's linking to my pages, it's not something to worry about. I think you're being overly cautious and it is likely a security setting. If you have another browser see if it works with it, to try to identify what's causing this issue, browser or firewall.
  4. May 1, 2006 #3


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    Oh, yes, I know what the HTTP referrer is for, I've just never seen a site choke like this and try to get me to mess with my firewall.

    Also, I don't know why one computer would get this error when the other would not - they're both on the same network. I guess that's an indication that the firewall in question is the Norton firewall or the Windows firewall on the affected computer...
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