Yet more malware/hijacker on SD

So cruising through a forum and SD is the only thin open. Lo and behold a new tab comes up and I find out my version is out of date courtesy of which was started 5 days ago. How convenient that they will help me out. :rolleyes:

So let’s go around again how it is not SD’s problem, new management, advertisers’ fault or maybe we’ll get a different excuse like it’s the NSA tracking what threads you’re visiting to see if you’re a CTer.

The problem is almost certainly not with the Straight Dope itself, though it’s quite possible that there’s a misbehaving ad being served up. Technically that’s not an ‘SDMB issue’ since they have limited control over what ads are being served (though if this is in fact an ongoing issue, perhaps a change of ad vendors might be in order).

It’s also possible that the problem is on your end. Malware in the form of a browser extension/add-on/plugin wouldn’t care what site you were on. Neither would a rogue program that got ‘stealth-installed’ because you forgot to uncheck a box the last time you downloaded something.

What browser are you using, what version, and what, if any, plugins and addons do you use? Is Java enabled, and up-to-date if it is? What about Flash? Adobe recently (Feb 4) released a fix for a zero-day exploit; did you install it?

For the record, I run Chrome, with Adblock, and I have never had any sort of ‘malware experience’ browsing the Straight Dope. I realize I run the risk here of being ‘one of those people’, but the fact is that malware problems are more often than not ‘self-inflicted’.

That sounds like a company that denies responsibility when their driver gets into an accident. A website is responsible for the content that goes out including any malware. Now I recognize that in this day and age any company will be an unwilling compatriot in distributing malware but at the SD it is at least once every six month. And SD is unresponsive to the issue other than deciding who to shift blame to. Here’s evidence. Look at this thread. Obviously an issue with the ad company and more annoying than destructive. Notice SD’s response? The second post noting the name of the company and that’s it. Absolutely no feedback on the “maybe it shouldn’t be doing that.” posts. OK so SD is aware atlassolutions have issues. Maybe not big enough to deal with but concerns should have been raised about the adcompany. Two months later. I get hit with malware that chokes my computer and pull up ads from all over the net. Over a week later a response which is basically probably a cookie issue but tracking cookies are legit and other companies besides atlassolutions use them. I trace the problem to which was a problem two months earlier. Explain how keeping content that is known to create problems on your website NOT sd’s responsibility.

Italics added.
See today’s thread and responses, Why does Tapatalk malware only activate (with me) on SDMB?

See above.

So how I never see any of this?

Until they fix this, if ever, you may want to open up your computer’s HOSTS file (depends on your OS where to find it, but it might be at C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\HOSTS) in a text editor and add the line

to it.
Or better yet go to and download one of their HOSTS files (and make sure that one you think is the problem is in there, if not, add it).

Incidentally I had the exact same thing happen to me while browsing the board. The browser update tab that is.

I’ll let Ed and the ad guys know about this.

And some information would be useful: a screen shot, a listing, something. Based on your complaint I can’t find anything on it and I’m not seeing it. This is not meant as anything other than I can’t reproduce your problem and would like to have something to see, something to show so we can maybe find it and fix it.

This seems a little bit on the snotty side to me. The staff here has been exceptionally helpful and do a darn good job running the place. You aren’t even a paying member.

Instead of doling out this kind of disrespect to the staff here, how about finding another message board instead?

Whoa whoa whoa! So because he’s not a paid member, he has no right to complain? WTF? Someone’s being snotty, but it’s not the OP.

And once again, as I always say – NEVER use the internet without at least 1 adblocker. I found that out the hard way.

I pretty much summed up what was there. A new tab with a “Upgrade your version” from that specific website thats 5 days old. I’m not sure what a screenshot would show beyond 2 tabs, the one in the background “Straight Dope” and the “Version Upgrade” in the foreground.

So I have to pay to be indignant when I spent two hours wiping Moneypak off my laptop courtesy of Straight Dope (about 18 months ago) or that I warned them about their ad company and then two month later get hit with a malicious cookie from that same company? Oh and since you’re not a paying member I guess you’ll welcome the hearty FU if you get hit with malware from this site.

Might I suggest that you use an adblocker. I assure you that you will never see any of the stuff you’re complaining about again.

They are never going to fix this. The ad provider is clearly doing a crappy job of keeping out malware, and this has been known for years now and the SDMB has chosen to go with the risk of infecting users with malware instead of ditching the ad company for whatever reason.

Your options are basically: 1. Accept that you might get hit with malware sometimes on this site and commit to spending the time and energy to ridding your computer of it; 2. Use adblocking software for the SDMB (if not the rest of the Internet); or 3. Quit coming to the Dope.

Me too.

It is not so much that you don’t pay, but that you refuse to do anything to protect yourself, preferring to indignantly curse the darkness. I really don’t have much sympathy for you.

This is an aggravating situation but beating on one another solves nothing. Dial it down.

It would show which browser you’re using, for one thing.

It would also help if you would tell us what *version *of said browser you are using .

And if you are using any addons, plugins, toolbars, etc.

And what anti-virus you are running, and whether or not it’s up to date.

Nothing you have told us so far is in any way helpful to TPTB to solve the problem, if it is indeed theirs to solve. Your demeanor here suggests that you aren’t actually interested in fixing anything; you just want to complain.

I’ve been on this board for over 10 years. I almost always have a tab open to the Dope whenever I’m online, which is many hours every day. And I have ***never ***had a problem with malware coming from this board (or any other, for that matter). Because I practice ‘safe computing’. If you would do the same, you wouldn’t have problems either. It really is that simple.

Saint Cad.

If you are using Windows IE there is a free web de-bugging tool you can down load, called Fiddler, that will show you all of the traffic going through your computer. There is another one for Mac I think.

You can find a download link from a site you prefer. It is free. Ed Zotti told me about it a few years ago when I had similar complaints and I monitored traffic for a while in the hope of helping to identifying some of the problems. Then I got bored because I wasn’t finding anything and we went through a period of no problems.

You may be astonished, as I was, with all the previously hidden traffic. If a problem is occurring while you have the debugger open in the background it would really help the staff here locate the offending adware.