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empty html documents

Shaddock

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
not really important, but sometimes when on this website, my browser automically downloads html document with weird names, that are empty. when I open them, then there is nothing. I click on nothing, it´s just downloaded automatically. any idea why this happens and what these html documents are?

1659912875906.png


the names vary, but it´s always just "letter salad" (random letters)
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I too have been noticing them at least when using Windows. Where my downloads directory shows them by a random name, but without any contents.

Not cool, although without any contents I can't say they are harmful.
 

SRSAutistic

Active Member
Hi @Satal,

Please fix this issue related to blank pages on Microsoft Edge version 104.0.1293.47 (Official build) (64-bit). I cannot understand why this is happening now.

Regards,

SRSAutistic
 

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Satal

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Thanks all for reporting. Does this happen on a particular page or area of the site?

@Judge, @Shaddock, what browsers are you using?
 

Satal

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sry can not remember, but I will try to observe this in the next time.


I use Firefox 103.0.1 (64-Bit) (newest version)
Thanks, yeah, if you could note where you are that would be appreciated. If its not private messages then a link would be appreciated. It doesn't sound like it's limited to a particular user or browser so hopefully will be repeatable and then I can figure it out from there.

It would also be interesting to know if you refresh the page whether you get another download or if nothing happens. If it isn't something that is repeatable that will be "fun" to track down.
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
This has been going for awhile. Though I don't think it's necessarily associated with this Xenforo upgrade. Something I've only witnessed happening periodically only with Firefox. Using Windows the recently upgraded version of Firefox I'm on is version 103.0.2.

I don't recall this issue with Firefox using Linux Mint 20.3, though with Mint, they use a proprietary version of Firefox that doesn't correspond to the same version number as does with Windows. It's just weird when I see something being downloaded in real time while using Firefox that I did not authorize. Weirder still is a cryptic file name and html extension where there are no contents that goes straight to my downloads directory.

One thing I can't help wonder about is whether or not there is something unintentionally and externally linked to a URL with potentially hostile intentions. Something my security software has detected and logged on very rare occasions.A function that may not be the result of Xenforo at all. But I can only speculate.

More often than not, when I see something that comes in without any content my first impression is usually that it is something that is deliberately filtered out as a security concern. Leaving only a file name with no payload. But whether it's my security software, the OS or my browser that might be doing such filtering, I cannot say.

In my own case it hasn't happened in a while. But the next time I catch it, I'll post as such.
 
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Satal

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Yeah, I've seen it a few times on other websites, though I have yet to personally see it on this site, I'm hoping that if we're able to identify what pages it is showing on then I might be able to narrow down what is causing it. At the moment I have no idea :(
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Yeah, I've seen it a few times on other websites, though I have yet to personally see it on this site, I'm hoping that if we're able to identify what pages it is showing on then I might be able to narrow down what is causing it. At the moment I have no idea :(

I'm thinking I need to notice in real time if it happens again, at the point of downloading in my browser, where there is a momentary notice of it happening in the upper right hand corner with the downloading progress icon. At that point then I know the file will show up in my downloads directory, but always as an empty html file.

Frankly I'm not entirely convinced this is something "internal" pertinent to the forum or Xenforo. Frustrating too in that unlike an outright hostile URL posted, these html file incidents themselves don't seem to be logged by my security software. Can't even construe them as a "false-positive" event. Though it might also be a particular file not properly associated with the correct extension, defaulting to an emply html file.

Interesting to see outside sources speculating that it might have to do with Google or Microsoft. Hmmmmm...the usual suspects? In any case if you search for others commenting on such issues, they're easily found. But I haven't seen any of them cite the source of such problems yet. Yeah...it's baffling. Could be quite innocuous....or not.
 
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SRSAutistic

Active Member
Hi @Satal,

The empty HTML documents or webpages are showing when I click on the notifications that the PWA (Progressive Web App) shows. I am using Microsoft Edge version 104.0.1293.47 (Official build) (64-bit) on Windows 10 Version 21H2 (Build 19044.1865).

Kindly please see the screenshot.

Regards,

SRSAutistic
 

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Shaddock

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I opened my profile page a few seconds ago and then pressed the "back" button in my button and then it happened (downloaded an empty html file). I couldn´t reproduce it.
 

Satal

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I opened my profile page a few seconds ago and then pressed the "back" button in my button and then it happened (downloaded an empty html file). I couldn´t reproduce it.
Would it be possible to confirm what page you were looking at before and what browser you're using?

Does it keep the old page open? If so, it would be useful if you could send me the HTML of that page (assuming it doesn't have any sensitive information on it)

Kindly please see the screenshot.
That's really helpful thanks! I think this gives me an idea of what it could be, though I can't currently replicate it.
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
@Satal

Finally noticed what generated one of these things. Simply accessing this AF thread:


It produced two (empty) html files in my downloads folder: 2W3YC31.htm and ajHXVpZN.htm

Anyone reading this, see if accessing that particular thread does the same for you. They're empty files, so they can't cause any harm I can see...
 

Satal

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@Satal

Finally noticed what generated one of these things. Simply accessing this AF thread:


It produced two (empty) html files in my downloads folder: 2W3YC31.htm and ajHXVpZN.htm

Anyone reading this, see if accessing that particular thread does the same for you. They're empty files, so they can't cause any harm I can see...
Does it do it repeatably for you?
I've tried and don't get anything :(
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Does it do it repeatably for you?
I've tried and don't get anything :(
Nope. I deleted the two empty files when I observed them downloading.

Just now I accessed the same thread again and nothing occurred. Go figure. :rolleyes:
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I'm going to exit my browser, cold boot the OS and see if it happens again. Be back in a moment...
 

Outdated

I'm from the other end of the spectrum.
V.I.P Member
I was just curious and tried to repeat the issue on my machine but had no luck.

Firefox 105.0.3 (64-bit) on Ubuntu Linux

Occasionally opening a page stalls, close and reopen and it snaps up straight away, but I also get that issue with the BBC.
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I'm going to exit my browser, cold boot the OS and see if it happens again. Be back in a moment...

Nope, nothing again. When I exit my browser (Firefox 105.0.3), I automatically delete the cache. Was on Windows at the time, which I don't spend much time on any more. But simple deduction...wondering what YouTube or perhaps one of their specific channels may be doing to generate these empty files. Hmmm.

I also used Brave to access the same page, with no downloads at all.
 
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Satal

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Nope, nothing again. When I exit my browser (Firefox 105.0.3), I automatically delete the cache. Was on Windows at the time, which I don't spend much time on any more. But simple deduction...wondering what YouTube or perhaps one of their specific channels may be doing to generate these empty files. Hmmm.

I also used Brave to access the same page, with no downloads at all.
I thought you were on to something with the YouTube comment, especially as the random characters look like what YouTube use for the video IDs, but I tried going to the first one you suggested, and it doesn't look like it's a valid YouTube video, so probably not, not a bad guess though.

I've been doing some Googling to see if I can figure it out, and I've found other people on the Internet who've had the same issue, but I haven't found any that appear to have figured out what is causing it.
 

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