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Old 10-23-08, 05:51 PM   #1
randya
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web ad hijack?

so I use the NY Times as my homepage both at work and at home, and there's almost always this largish ad box on the right side of the screen mid way down the page. At work, the box is filled with ads for movies and airlines and stuff like that, but at home all I get now is ads for Vimax penis enlargement pills. It seems to take way longer to load on my home machine now also.

I think the ad space has been hijacked. How do I reset it, do I have to delete all my cookies, find and delete the spyware or something similar? I don't even know how to do that on the Mac I have at home now... I guess this also means there are enough Apple machines around that they are starting to be targetted by the spammers and other internet lowlife...

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Old 10-23-08, 05:59 PM   #2
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Old 10-24-08, 08:52 AM   #3
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If its a Windows box, I'd recommend Norton 360 for a commercial tool, or Threatfire, Spybot (although almost all malware makers have code to get around it), BOClean, or the licensed at no charge A/V from Comodo. ClamAV is decent too.

For a Mac, Clamxav. If you are using Safari, grab Adblock for Safari.

However, I have a sneaking feeling that its not your computer. More ISPs are inserting ads into web pages in transit using systems like NebuAd, replacing the normal ads that sites have with what they are trying to hawk.
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Old 10-24-08, 10:47 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by mlts22 View Post
However, I have a sneaking feeling that its not your computer. More ISPs are inserting ads into web pages in transit using systems like NebuAd, replacing the normal ads that sites have with what they are trying to hawk.
Woah, really? That's pretty cool.
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Old 10-24-08, 10:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randya View Post
so I use the NY Times as my homepage both at work and at home, and there's almost always this largish ad box on the right side of the screen mid way down the page. At work, the box is filled with ads for movies and airlines and stuff like that, but at home all I get now is ads for Vimax penis enlargement pills. It seems to take way longer to load on my home machine now also.

I think the ad space has been hijacked. How do I reset it, do I have to delete all my cookies, find and delete the spyware or something similar? I don't even know how to do that on the Mac I have at home now... I guess this also means there are enough Apple machines around that they are starting to be targetted by the spammers and other internet lowlife...

Is the ad animated? Do any other odd things follow from loading that page?

I don't think there is any well-known spyware floating around for OS X (I'm sure that some exist, but are not in the wild). It seems highly unlikely that software on your computer would be injecting that ad in that particular location. I'm sure it's possible for a piece of software to script the injection to the cached webpage, then auto-update it and have that as the home page...but then you would notice that something's off when the time isn't correct.
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Old 10-24-08, 01:17 PM   #6
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Woah, really? That's pretty cool.
Bad thing is that it also logs where you go, and all that data (all GETs, POSTs, etc) are sold to marketing people.

It screws ad sites over because they get revenue with their ads, and instead, some other place steals their ad placement for their own stuff.

It screws users over because they are not getting the true website they go to -- it has been tampered with in transit.

Both of these things can cause a lot of hairy issues... for example pr0n ads on disney.com causing parents to litigate, when its really the ISP's ad injector that was doing it.

Its just a matter of time before one of those ad injector systems takes site login and passwords for E-mail sites like Yahoo, then spews out spam using people's address book.

Best remedy is to use SSL for everything, but that kills performance. Google is working on something to prevent ad injections (classic man in the middle attack) as well but without SSL's performance drain.
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Old 10-24-08, 01:48 PM   #7
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Use Firefox, with Ad Blocker Plus application (all free).
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