Why is Proxy Python coming up instead of WikiTree pages on search engines?

+5 votes
124 views
WikiTree profiles used to come up first on search engines, such as for Napoleon Bonaparte.  Today, I typed in "Napoleon Bonaparte" on DuckDuckGo search engine, and instead of getting a WikiTree page, I saw a result that LOOKED like a WikiTree result for Napoleon Bonaparte, but was actually this really weird link for something called "proxy python":

http://proxypython7.appspot.com/u?purl=MS1ldHJhcGFub0IvaWtpdy9tb2MuZWVydGlraXcud3d3Ly86c3B0dGg%3D%0A

I'm concerned that this Proxy Python might give people the idea they can see all the WikiTree work and research, but not actually be on a WikiTree page, and I've got mixed feelings about this.  On one hand, I'm glad there still exists some kind of WikiTree result, but on the other hand, it's sending web visitor traffic to something that LOOKS like WikiTree but is clearly not WikiTree.

Has anyone seen this before?  Is this something we should do something about?  I'm not even sure what to ask, really, but I definitely want people to know something odd is going on.

Thank you!
WikiTree profile: Napoléon I Bonaparte
in WikiTree Tech by Cynthia Larson G2G6 Pilot (170k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
I've just done a search of Napoléon I Bonaparte, then tried Napoléon 1 Bonaparte on Google search on Chrome and I didn't get your proxy python... not even WikiTree shows up in the results.
I thought this proxy might be something introduced by DuckDuckGo, but my testing suggests that it is not a feature of DuckDuckGo.

First I went to the DuckDuckGo website (from Firefox) and ran some searches (for my relatives) that would give me wikitree results. I was taken directly to WikiTree without a detour to ProxyPython.

I did not have a DuckDuckGo browser extension installed in my browser when I did that, so next I installed the extension and did an additional test using the extension. Once again I was taken directly to WikiTree, so I do not see evidence that this is a feature of DuckDuckGo.

@Cynthia: Did you change any browser settings recently? ProxyPython may have sneaked in as part of something you added...

1 Answer

+4 votes
This is a new one for me. My first assumption was that the proxy server is being used to protect random internet users from tracking cookies and ads. That seems weird. But then I noticed that there is a login link on the proxypython version of that WikiTree page, so I am concerned that this could be a security hole.
by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
This looks like a site set up to steal user credentials.

Edit: Actually, maybe not. Maybe someone just used the python proxy site with a WikiTree link. Definitely don't try to login through that link though.
Thanks for checking, Jamie.
This ProxyPython7 app is on appspot.com. I find some articles online regarding phishing schemes using/abusing appspot.com. Best to stay far away from it...
From what I could tell, Appspot is just part of Google's cloud hosting services. And proxypython7 seems like it might be a legitimate app, but who knows why some person felt the need to put a WikiTree link through a proxy?

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