Topic

Web search hijacking and other issues.

Here is the original Electronic Frontier Foundation article:
 https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/07/widespread-search-hijacking-in-the-us

Here is the analysis site they recommend: http://netalyzr.icsi.berkeley.edu/index.html

Please use it. This is a serious issue, and you might discover things about your internet connection you not have been aware of and pass the link on.

This is the permalink on my own report: http://netalyzr.icsi.berkeley.edu/restore/id=4b65f1a7-4907-0f3661b0-5756-4c4b-8f4e

Posted 8 years ago by Fokian Fool Subscriber! | Permalink

Replies

  • It's generally in bad taste for some one to bump their own topics, but the nature of this posting doesn't require any replies from others. It's purely informational. But I think the matter is alarming and serious enough that something. But the lack of traffic is of concern because I don't really know if posting is even being noticed.and I feel strongly about the seriousness of the issue.
    Posted 8 years ago by Fokian Fool Subscriber! | Permalink
  • fwiw, I agree - I've been looking at that 'HTTPS Everywhere' extention, but haven't pushed the button yet. I'm uk based, but will probably still take a look at the analysis site.
    Posted 8 years ago by Katchen Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Glad there are more people concerned about privacy and personal information!
    I've been worrying about this for several years; unfortunately, many people don't, they say "I have nothing to hide".
    (offtopic: I used a semicolon!)
    I really hate that statement. Do your really not mind if everyone knows your medical data? Would you like it if your parents/sister/kids find out that you ordered some kinky stuff online? Or that your coworkers know you have debts from an earlier gambling addiction which you are now totally free of?
    Anyway, back ontopic.

    I haven't read the whole article yet (I am too much generation-y: scan large pieces of text instead of fully reading them before replying).
    What I get from it is: your searchqueries are stored by another company then google, that company uses the data collected, probably to make profit with it by selling.
    How is that different from what google does? They do the same. Everything is linked together nowadays; google, hotmail, youtube, facebook, games can all be used to create a profile of you.

    I use some addons on my browser to anonimise my data. They are not perfect yet or as nice as google, but it will do.

    Scroogle: An ad-free Google search proxy which prevents the searcher's data being stored by Google, a Firefox plugin, and tools for webmasters."

    Google Sharing:GoogleSharing is a special kind of anonymizing proxy service, designed for a very specific threat. It ultimately aims to provide a level of anonymity that will prevent Google from tracking your searches, movements, and what websites you visit. GoogleSharing is not a full proxy service designed to anonymize all your traffic, but rather something designed exclusively for your communication with Google. Our system is totally transparent, with no special "alternative" websites to visit. Your normal work flow should be exactly the same.
    Posted 8 years ago by Miriamele Subscriber! | Permalink
  • How do I know that Netalyzr is safe? Can be a sort of trojan to get me to click a link which collects data and sends it to a company that will use it for profit or profiling.
    Posted 8 years ago by Miriamele Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Oh and I cannot find any privacy policy or explanation about what Netalyzr does with the data they collect from my test, or find a link where I can ask that question. I searched a bit, but getting in contact with them seems to be several clicks away. I haven't found it yet. (Yeah I am in paranoia mode again).

    Edit: Duh, question 3 in the faq is about how to get in touch. Only it requires me mailing (and thus using my e-mail adress) which I am not fond of.
    Posted 8 years ago by Miriamele Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I agree; everyone has something to hide, or someone to protect.

    I have *less* issues with Google doing it; they are rather more transparent about it - probably just rationalisation though; I use their stuff to organise my life, so I'm slightly attached :D (still not going near + yet)

    I find the web a much pleasanter place since adblock +, but have to be careful what addons I use for work purposes; I'll take a look at those though - thanks for the tips.

    I have the same reservations as you about Netalyzr; haven't had time to search on 'em so haven't used them yet - think they got a mention on lifehacker a few days ago?

    It's not paranoia when they *are* out to get you ;)
    Posted 8 years ago by Katchen Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I decided I would trust Netalyzr. Would Fokian give us a bum steer?  Nah!  Anyway the results (if I interpreted them correctly) indicate that my ISP (BT in Britain) [1] does pass requests that don't resolve on to a company that redirects them (to Dell or Amazon for example) it they think that might be who I was interested in and [2] apparently they do not poach and redirect valid search inquiries, which is what I would consider to be the more serious issue.

    Do I think that [1] is okay?  No.  Do I think it is a serious enough problem that I am going take action about it?  No again.  Call me lazy.
    Posted 8 years ago by Hawkwell Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I have a redirect in mine that is flagged as risky, but I know what the specific redirect is. My ISP, when finding an unresolved address, creates a web page with a Google search on the address I tried to enter. The page says what it is doing and clearly identifies itself. It actually has helped me with some miss-typed domain names. But it revealed other issues that I need to investigate. 

    berkely.edu is a trusted party, FWIW. And I received the link from a reliable source. It does anonymize the test by given the user a random numeric ID every time it is run. The purpose of the data collection it to try to identify persons or agencies that are manipulating web traffic inappropriately. This can help find "bots" and machines that have been hijacked for spam purposes.
    Posted 8 years ago by Fokian Fool Subscriber! | Permalink