[Dshield] Bushe's recent visit to the NSA... Is this website safe to view?

Laura Vance vancel at winfreeacademy.com
Mon Feb 6 15:49:33 GMT 2006

Wayne Jr wrote:

>Is this website safe to view?  I don't know much about this, but my understanding is that websites that have malformed code could possible download a virus or worm onto my computer if I viewed it or clicked on some link on it.
>I tried to check out the link by going to http://www.dnsstuff.com/ and using the CSE HTML Validator link on that page and I got the following message:
>* * * * * * * 
>CSE HTML Validator Lite generated 21 error messages and 6 warning messages when checking this web page. In fact, this web page generated so many errors that HTML Validator terminated the check before it went through the whole document. These problems could damage this web page's search engine rankings as well as cause viewing problems for visitors. It is highly recommended that any problems be corrected.
>* * * * * * *
>However, I am not familiar with these things so I am not sure if it means the website is dangerous for me to view.  Does anyone have any suggestions.
>Wayne Jr
Something to remember is that when you submit web pages to an HTML 
validator, it counts every coding error as an error on the document.  
Something like this would generate an error:

<B><U>Bold and underlined text</B></U>

Notice how the underline wasn't terminated in the order it was opened.  
That could generate either one or two errors because not only is the 
underline closed out of sequence, but the bold is also closed out of 
sequence.  It will catch all misuse of tags such as <LI> with no </LI>, 
<TD> with no </TD> and so on and so on.  The page will display 
correctly, but the code is not correct.

Using an HTML validator to determine the safety of a web page isn't 
really a very accurate determination, because HTML errors are *usually* 
not malicious.

Hope this helps. :)

Laura Vance
Systems Engineer
Winfree Academy Charter Schools

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