Gmail Locks Out User For Using Greasemonkey & Reports Of Gmail Contacts Disappearing

The Inquirer reports that a user received an unusual error from Google when trying to access his Gmail through a Greasemonkey script. The error was a “lockdown in sector four” message, basically describing that the user account has been found to have “unusual usage” and the “account has been disabled for up to 24 hours.” The greasemonkey script was code that was used to help the Gmail user manage his Gmail emails. He recommends that you no longer use such unauthorized scripts until you hear back with permission from Google on the matter.

On a related note, Philipp Lenssen reports that many Gmail users have noticed that their contact lists have mysteriously disappeared. You can see from the Google Groups reports that it was only temporary, and the users now see their contacts again. Phew! Maybe we should all export our contact lists or manage them elsewhere?

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Google: Gmail


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • Matt Cutts

    (Just a quick personal take; I haven’t talked to any Gmail people about this article.)

    In my experience, Greasemonkey and Gmail work well together. Google engineers have even put Gmail-Greasemonkey scripts up on the web to make Gmail work more the way that they wanted it to. Heck, the author of Greasemonkey works at Google. :)

    Typically when I hear about a message like this, it’s because someone was hitting a service very hard (e.g. lots of connections per second). That can happen if you use third-party software that has bugs. For example, a while back some 3rd party Gmail notifiers were misconfigured to check for new email like 10 times/second, so that would trigger a message like this.

    So my best guess is that Greasemonkey had nothing to do with it, but there may have been some reason why this user was hitting Gmail really hard. I’ll ask someone about it though.

  • rustybrick

    Thanks for the insight Matt, much appreciated.

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