2008/09/04 - Google Products And The Proxy Servers
It appears that a number of recent Google products (Google Pack, Chrome, Gears, etc) do not happily co-exist with the University's proxy servers. Google do not seem to have implemented RFC 2617 correctly -- some of their products cannot provide authentication information to our caches -- and do not gracefully handle the resulting errors.

The recent release of Chrome has caused this to become a serious problem -- the shear number of people wanting to try Chrome is resulting in a distributed denial of service attack against our caching proxy servers. At present, 40% of all requests to our cache servers result in a TCP_DENIED/407 (authentication required) error. This is begining to have a noticeable affect on our ability to service legitimate requests. Users will notice this as slow response times and intermittent timeouts from web traffic.

You are strongly recommended not to download and attempt to install Chrome from Google's web site. Doing so will place more strain on our cache servers, and will likely result in your receiving an ERR_UNAUTHREQ error denying you access to the Internet. If you'd like to experiment with Google Chrome, a local copy of the installer is available at \\\public\applications\Google\chrome_installer.exe and from other local repositories. Once installed, it may need to be correctly configured to use our proxies.

You are also strongly recommended to ensure that any Google product that you have installed is correctly configured to provide authentication information to the University's proxy servers. (Note that in some instances, notably with Google Gears, this simply isn't possible at present.) Again, failing to do so will likely result in your receiving an ERR_UNAUTHREQ error denying you access to the Internet.
We're seeing a resurgence of problems relating to Google's software and its interactions with caching proxy servers.

Users who've got Google products installed that are incorrectly configured will likely see the ERR_UNAUTHREQ cache error with at the top of the list of URLs displayed. If this happens, the solution it to either correctly configure the product in question, or uninstall it from your computer. You'll automatically re-gain access within 24 hours of fixing the problem, so there's no need to contact us.