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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Linkshare and adware? Webtickers?
    I'm not sure this is an adware issue, or the best forum, but want some advice because it upset me.

    I recently wanted to visit VitaCost but I mistyped the url, failing to put the dot before the com. The address came out www (dot) vitacostcom - I use Firefox and don't know if it would have the same outcome with another browser.

    When I entered that, I briefly landed on a page that said webtickers at the top, the text vitacost.com on the page, and then it redirected me to the correct address, which included an affiliate url.

    So I mistyped the address again intentionally and quickly viewed the source of the page and saved it.

    Source of
    Code:
    http://webtickers.com/vitacost/default.html
    Code:
    <html>
    <head>
    
    
    
    <META Http-equiv="refresh" Content="1;
    Url=http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=9oCBvtVxqVE&offerid=59379.10000007&type=3&subid=0">
    
            <title>Vitacost.com</title>
    
    
       
    </head>
    
    <BODY>
    
    Vitacost.com
    <IMG border=0 width=1 height=1 src="http://ad.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/show?id=9oCBvtVxqVE&bids=59379.10000007&type=3&subid=0" >
    <IMG border=0 width=1 height=1 src="http://ad.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/show?id=9oCBvtVxqVE&bids=59379.10000087&type=3&subid=0" ><IMG border=0 width=1 height=1 src="http://ad.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/show?id=9oCBvtVxqVE&bids=59379.10000088&type=3&subid=0" >
    
    
    </FONT>
    </CENTER>
    <BR>
    
    
    </body>
    </html>
    I wondered if I might have some sort of adware that targets Firefox, but haven't run across anything. I use Trend Micro Internet Security and Microsoft anti-spyware, but nothing is flawless. I ran a scan with Spybot Search and Destroy, but it didn't find anything. Scanned with Lavasoft, but nothing came up.

    If I go to webtickers.com it just redirects me to a travel website that is just a bunch of affiliate links.

    Is this something Linkshare is aware of? Do they condone it?

  2. #2
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    It's not adware. Just when somebody buys a domain hoping for a misspelling (typosquatting) or what you just did and redirects it to the intended place via their affiliate link. So I think it's more if Vitacost is ok with it.

  3. #3
    Internet Cowboy
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    That is adware. It will not happen unless you type in an incorrect URL or one that does not exist. It is the same kind of adware Dell installs on the new computers they sell.
    As for Linkshare, they have every other adware flavor in their network, no matter how many computers it ruins or how many millions of people are annoyed by it daily, they love it!


  4. #4
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    How is that adware? It's not software, it's somebody typosquatting. So no Ginger, it's not caused by any adware you have on your computer. A squeaky clean computer would get the same thing.

  5. #5
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    I agree with Trust here. There's no indication there is adware.

    I haven't seen Linkshare's Code of Conduct (or whatever they call it) in quite some time but this amounts to cookie stuffing as there is no affirmative click on an affiliate link.

    This has got to be a violation and I suspect this affiliate has bought tons of domains and is redirecting through his affiliate links.

    Does anyone have a link to Linkshare's Code of Conduct?

  6. #6
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    He also has wwwtravelnow.com and www.travelmow.com which redirect through his affiliate links. Ginger, I think you found a major violator here who should be terminated from every network whose rules he's violated. But I don't think you have anything to worry about as far as anything malicious ending up on your computer.

  7. #7
    Internet Cowboy
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    It is a BHO that looks for dead pages in your browser and either determines where you were trying to go and sends you there via affiliate link or it sends you to a PPC advertiser's site.
    I had it. I had to chase it down and get rid of it. Dell installs something similar that sends you to a page of all Adsense links.

    Trust, open your browser and type in www.amazoncom or www.vitacostcom or anything else in that format. You will get a "Page Not Found" message usually. In Ginger's case, www.vitacostcom was typed in and it redirected to a site that then read the entry and forwarded the browser to Vitacost.com.

    I bet if Ginger types in www.asdfljkvflvaysbrbvdfshhvbsdalhvb.com, the same thing will happen but she will be sent to a random site.


  8. #8
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    Scooter when you click the link in Snowman's last post, #5, travelmow, would do you get? Page not displayed?

    Because I'm getting webtickers. It looks just like plain typosquatting with a redirect because I'm seeing it to. Others should test it out and post what they see.

    If you search for webtickers bho 0 results:

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&r...webtickers+bho

    webtickers adware only 26 results and they're all just people asking, nobody saying yes.

    Site Advisor - Clean:

    http://www.siteadvisor.com/sites/web...s.com/summary/

  9. #9
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    vitacostcom is registered to the same person in Japan as webtickers. In IE6, if you type vitacostcom in the Address line of your browser and then simultaneously press CTRL + ENTER, you will briefly be taken to webtickers and then redirected to www.Vitacost.com through a Linkshare affiliate link. That's not a BHO or any other type of adware. It's typosquatting with a redirect.

  10. #10
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    Ginger if you click the last link in Scooter's post are you getting the webtickers?

    I bet if Ginger types in www.asdfljkvflvaysbrbvdfshhvbsdalhvb.com, the same thing will happen but she will be sent to a random site.

    Scooter when I click that link, I get page not displayed, the others I get webtickers. So I should be getting webtickers on that link too, I don't.

    There's not even 1 instance in Google with anybody confirming it's a bho or adware. Just a few people asking if it was.

  11. #11
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    Trust, I don't get anything when I click your link.

    But I did get the webtickers redirect with Scooter's link.

  12. #12
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    Which link? My link was one of Scooter's he posted 4 of them. When you click this:

    www.asdfljkvflvaysbrbvdfshhvbsdalhvb.com

    Do you get page not displayed or webtickers?

    I get page not displayed the other ones, travelmow, the vitacost one you posted, I get webtickers.

  13. #13
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    I'm sorry!

    If I click www.asdfljkvflvaysbrbvdfshhvbsdalhvb.com I get page not found.

    If I click the travelmow link I get webtickers.

  14. #14
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    Same here. So I don't think you have a BHO or adware, just some typosquatting with a redirect.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Bob Lawrence's Avatar
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    Talking
    I had a simular problem about 2 weeks ago with my hosting company and website. Trying to log in to their forum or web control panel.
    You Might check the following in your computer control panel settings....
    Go to Your control panel and (left) click on Network and Internet Connections
    Then (left) Click On Network Connections
    Then (right) Click On Local Area Connections
    Select Properties From the Menu Choice
    Window that open should read Local Area Connection Properties
    Select "General Tab" if it isn't already selected
    In the scroll down box these Items should have a check in the select boxes,
    Client for Microsoft Networks
    File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks
    QoS Packet Scheduler
    Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)
    Highlight ""Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)"" and Click Properties on This One
    <<General Tab>>
    Obtain an IP address automatically [Radio Button] should be Selected.
    Obtain DNS server address atomatically [Radio Button] should be Selected.
    <<Aternate Configuration>>
    Automatic private IP address [Radio Button] should be Selected.

    <<<<This One Should Not Be CHecked >>>
    Microsoft TCP/IP version 6

    If this is checked and has an IP or DNS server address it sending your request else-where.

    Hope This was usefull.

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    It's not adware, it's a typosquatter. When you type in www.SOMETHINGCOM (anything without an extension), Firefox automatically tries going to www.SOMETHINGCOM.com - Webtickers owns the domain name www.vitacostcom.com. Check for yourself if you don't believe me.

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Bob Lawrence's Avatar
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    Must be something to do with FireFox and Netscape. Because IE7, Opera, and Maxthon doen't do it. They say page can not be displayed.

  18. #18
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    Robert, I found out that Firefox has a built in keyword search that can complete your url if you flubber. So when I typed vitacostcom my browser knew the vitacostcom domain was real and assumed I left off the .com and added it for me. Apparently that's what typosquatters are counting on.

    That's a new term to me - typosquatter. It seems kind of sleazy, at least when used in this way.

  19. #19
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    I don't use Firefox but I'm going to guess that it wouldn't have made any difference what you typed without a .com, .net, etc. As long as there was no extension, it just automatically added .com even it if was a non-existent domain. This would be similar to typing any word in the address line of IE and then simultaneously pressing CTRL + ENTER. Your browser turns that single word into http://www.singleword.com.

    http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-typosquatter.htm

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