TalkTalk HomeSafe filter fails to block porn

TalkTalk HomeSafe filter fails to block porn

Summary: A network-level parental control system operated by TalkTalk has failed to block pornographic websites from being accessed from a customer's home broadband internet connection.TalkTalk introduced the HomeSafe service in May with the aim of providing customers with parental controls and extra protection from malware.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Mobility
0

A network-level parental control system operated by TalkTalk has failed to block pornographic websites from being accessed from a customer's home broadband internet connection.

TalkTalk introduced the HomeSafe service in May with the aim of providing customers with parental controls and extra protection from malware. However, Cherith Hately, a tech savvy mother of three living in south London told The Telegraph on Tuesday that the system was not blocking the well known 'adult' site Pornhub.

"The 'you have been blocked' page has been diverted to an advertising slot within the Pornhub homepage thus opening access to it," Hately said in the report. "The HomeSafe barrier has been knocked down, technically and literally," she added.

TalkTalk acknowledged the slip-up but maintained that the system was a valuable tool for the majority of its users.

"We are aware that a customer using HomeSafe has been able to access a site which they had selected to block. We're satisfied this site is not available to the majority of customers who have chosen to restrict this subject matter and we're testing a technical solution which will fully resolve this issue," a TalkTalk spokeswoman told ZDNet UK in a statement.

"We firmly believe that HomeSafe is a step in the right direction with over a million web pages blocked at customers' request since May," she added.

The system works on a blocklist basis to warn users that they may be about to visit a website that is known to distribute malware. It also provides parental control tools to stop children from accessing inappropriate websites. The system works by scanning all network traffic and assigning the websites to a whitelist or blacklist; this list is retained by TalkTalk for 24 hours.

At launch, the service was criticised over potential privacy implications raised by scanning and storing all URLs on the network.

There were also suggestions from security experts that it could be open to abuse from technically-minded criminals that could choose to serve up non-malware containing pages to requests identified as coming from the TalkTalk network and the malware containing pages to non-TalkTalk IP addresses.

Topic: Mobility

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

0 comments
Log in or register to start the discussion