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Flash splash screen; anybody else experience this?
Topic Started: Sep 13 2016, 09:34 AM (2,080 Views)
b2young
Member Avatar
Sad firefighter
I was perusing Swifty's a bit earlier (about 15 minutes ago) and reading a topic when all of a sudden, Swifty's disappeared and a "splash screen" claiming to be an upgrade demand from Flash replaced Swifty's. There was no "X" button for the screen; the buttons on the screen were "Later" and "Download now", and ONLY the "Download Now" button was actually available.

Anybody else have something like that happen recently?

I'm on an older Mac, and there are very few known hacks or exploits of the Mac OS.....so I'm wondering if this is a Chrome thing or maybe Swifty's servers may have an 'exploit' lurking?

(It was an easy escape....I simply closed the active window and opened a new window to Swifty's....so not ransomware or anything threatening.)
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juantoo3
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I haven't had that particular problem yet, but over the weekend did have Danika Patrick pop up over top of various images, hawking something or other. Took a lot of looking to find the "x", after I closed out and restarted twice. Very insistent ad, if I scrolled past the image she was on, within 5 seconds she was over the next image I was viewing.

Only happened the one day, but it was a rather new and rather persistent ad.
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Milton Fox Racing
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SUV
Are you guys on a pc or tablet. I recall seeing somewhere that all pop ups are blocked here at swiftys, but a few weeks ago I was seeing them on my pc and I am still seeing them when I am on my tablet. On the tablet they are in the traditional pop up ad places - not the hovering in the middle of the screen ones...
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juantoo3
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

laptop at home, desktop at work...haven't seen what I described at work.

FWIW, what I was wasn't hovering in the middle of the screen, it seemed embedded in the middle of an image, randomly, and I could scroll past until I reached the next image when it would pop up again.
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Hosspower98
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Forever Blue Oval
I have a Mac and had a similar problem. I use Firefox and a pane opened saying my flash player was out of date and needed to be updated. A year ago the same happened while using Safari. Sadly, I clicked the link and I think it allowed a trojan horse in. After months of slowness, I use superfast FiOS. None of my accounts have been hacked that I know of. But I learned an important lesson, never click a link from your email no matter how authentic it looks. I typed the Adobe site in my browser address bar and downloaded flash player directly from them.
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toyotageek
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Japanese Minicar Maniac
Sounds like something that is embedded in the photos. I wonder where they are being hosted?
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Hobie-wan
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SUV
I actually had popups come over my own pictures the other day. That has to be coming from the Swifty server somehow as I actually pay for my picture storage and I just have images there, I've uploaded no code. I thought it was Photobucket or whatever when I saw it over those previously. I haven't seen user's images have ads pop up directly over them anywhere else but here.
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W Gee
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Station Wagon
Have had 2 full page pop ups tonight (Chrome)
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Hobie-wan
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SUV
I just got one too for info.searchprivacyblahblahblah feebly attempting to trick me into installing something. I had gone back to the front page and clicked to another program for a moment and when I returned to my browser, that crap was up. My AV hasn't spoken up, but I'm running a Malwarebytes scan at the moment to be sure. I'm on Firefox FWIW.
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toyotageek
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Japanese Minicar Maniac
Hobie-wan
Sep 13 2016, 04:36 PM
I actually had popups come over my own pictures the other day. That has to be coming from the Swifty server somehow as I actually pay for my picture storage and I just have images there, I've uploaded no code. I thought it was Photobucket or whatever when I saw it over those previously. I haven't seen user's images have ads pop up directly over them anywhere else but here.
I have not had any problems on my PC, but when I accessed the site today on my phone (Samsung Galaxy 5) using Chrome I got some ads popping up on top of photos in Hobie's Showroom thread, and then I even had a new page open without my consent. I quickly closed Chrome.

I don't think I'll be accessing the site on my phone anymore.
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Hobie-wan
Member Avatar
SUV
New wrinkle. I went back to the main page after finishing reading a thread and it automatically pushed me forward to a scare page telling me my machine was compromised and to call a number for 'removal help'. The page was also talking in a better than most, but still terrible text to speech voice. Granted I know that MS doesn't monitor stuff like this and it's a scam, lots of people wouldn't. Most people have Facebook (I don't), wouldn't notice the non MS website address, don't know that MS can't 'disable' their computer, or notice little things like the I with the Windows icon in the background accidentally being capitalized. All I had to do was click back, but the Swifty page forwarded to this on its own.

This is only happening with Swifty's pages. Something has to be coming from there. Screenshot of the crap attached.

Posted Image
Attached to this post:
Attachments: screen303.png (178.2 KB)
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juantoo3
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm gonna scoot this over to the service counter so it doesn't get lost.
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Hobie-wan
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SUV
I went and did a whois on the garbage domain and it's registered in Panama (the country). Reported to the domain registrar abuse email in the registration info, I have no idea if they'd revoke the domain registration.

https://whois.icann.org/en/lookup?name=WEBRESTRICTED.COM
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juantoo3
Member Avatar
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

New wrinkle:

Quote:
 
Access to the URL b2.ifrm.com/10701/18/0/p3000594/DSCN8201.jpg has been denied.



The request was denied due to a content categorization malware-sites.


Until today I have been able to view images hosted at Swifty's, this morning they are all blocked. I clicked on an image I uploaded last night, and the quote above is what I received. I know something is embedding in the image files...when I make an image smaller in little increments and watch the file size get bigger...in complete contradiction to what should be happening...something is once again attacking through the image loading process.

This *really* needs to be looked into by someone with the ability to fix it.


BTW, I also saw one more incidence of an ad opening on top of an image, that one posted by Toyotageek. No reflection on him, just saying some advertiser is taking advantage of image files and embedding ads...if they can, hackers can too.
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jedimario
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RAWR
I'm going to work on reportig these to Zetaboards. They gotta pay the bills, but this is getting ridiculous.

Please remember that there are no "Swifty's" servers and we do not control the ad content or much of the webpages here. They are provided for free to us by Zetaboards, who in turn makes money from the advertisements. We have looked into paying for the ZB service and thus removing ads in the past, but given the traffic volume here it was prohibitively expensive.
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toyotageek
Member Avatar
Japanese Minicar Maniac
Something wacky is definitely going on, and I do hope someone can figure it out and fix it.

I've not had any incidents at home or at work, but I use Adblock Plus at both locations.

I've only had problems on the mobile version of Chrome, on an Android phone.

I'll venture to guess the problem is NOT coming from the photo sources... since it seems to happen with photos from different sources - mine are at Photobucket, Hobie's are hosted elsewhere.

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jedimario
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RAWR
I have seen the unescapable mobile pop-ups on the Active Topics screen so it's definitely coming from ZB.
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juantoo3
Member Avatar
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

jedimario
Sep 20 2016, 07:54 AM
I'm going to work on reportig these to Zetaboards. They gotta pay the bills, but this is getting ridiculous.

Please remember that there are no "Swifty's" servers and we do not control the ad content or much of the webpages here. They are provided for free to us by Zetaboards, who in turn makes money from the advertisements. We have looked into paying for the ZB service and thus removing ads in the past, but given the traffic volume here it was prohibitively expensive.
It is so bad today on my work computer that even the icons and emoticons are blocked. There are literally zero images except the ads.

I'm starting to wonder if maybe passing the hat to take up a collection might be worthwhile? If it would solve the problem, I would kick in a few bucks.
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Hobie-wan
Member Avatar
SUV
Just adding this here for people that don't use keyboard shortcuts all the time. If you get bumped into a garbage page, you can do ALT + LEFT ARROW on your keyboard, that's the same as the back button in the browser. This will let you back off the garbage page and get back to where you were without completely closing the browser or clicking on a button that might not be what it says it is.
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jedimario
Member Avatar
RAWR
juantoo3
Sep 20 2016, 03:02 PM
I'm starting to wonder if maybe passing the hat to take up a collection might be worthwhile? If it would solve the problem, I would kick in a few bucks.
Currently, the cost to remove ads from the site is $0.18 per 1,000 page views. That is not per visitor or per session- that is every page load that displays an add. Both members and guests count towards that total.

I don't have overall page load statistics (Swifty might), but in the past month there have been nearly 100,000 topic views across the forum. If each topic view also has 5 other page loads (posting, going to another page in the topic, etc), we are over $100/month to get rid of ads.
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Hobie-wan
Member Avatar
SUV
Ads are fine in their normal places.

Ads that pop up over images that I'm paying for hosting elsewhere are not.

Automatically forwarding from a forum page to a scare/ransom/hijack page automatically without clicking anything is not.
Edited by Hobie-wan, Sep 21 2016, 01:25 PM.
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jedimario
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RAWR
Hobie-wan
Sep 21 2016, 01:24 PM
Ads are fine in their normal places.

Ads that pop up over images that I'm paying for hosting elsewhere are not.

Automatically forwarding from a forum page to a scare/ransom/hijack page automatically without clicking anything is not.
Exactly, and that's why I'm going to report this behavior to ZB. Never dealt with them before so it's anyone's guess what sort of response we get.
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toyotageek
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Japanese Minicar Maniac
Just sharing.... from the Apparatus Bay: http://swiftysgarage.net/topic/9008319/1/#new

Hope this gets resolved before it drives more members away. :(

b2young
 
I've spent the better half of the past two days fighting to stop obnoxious and constant interruptions to my access to Swifty's. I've been working with experts on Apple user support forums to try every recommendation, scanning and manually searching every part of my computer to make sure my computer hasn't been "infected" with "adware" or other malware (it hasn't), yet every session on Swifty's is constantly besieged by ads and even "ransomware" that takes control of my browser, replaces Swifty's with their garbage, and forces me to quit the browser or exit Swifty's (at best) without being able to log out, and having to start over from scratch to get back in. (The problem is affecting all the browsers.....so it doesn't appear I can just change to a different browser.)

It is NOT happening (so far) with any other website I visit regularly. The only cause I can imagine is that the free hosting service Swifty's is using (Zetaboards) has contracted to generate revenue from a less-than-scrupulous third party. However, if none of you, my friends, are seeing this same issue, I can only conclude that I need to stop using this service until such time, if any, that I can resolve the problem.

So, if you don't hear from me for a while, it's because visiting my favorite place on the internet has become a frustrating experience....no, beyond frustrating.

I'll miss hearing about all the cool stuff you have or find, and I'll really miss taking part in this community. Hopefully not too far in the future I'll figure out what's going on and be able to come back and participate. Until then, see you around.
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Hobie-wan
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SUV
For those on Macs, I imagine that Option + Left Arrow or Command + Left Arrow does the same as the back arrow in the browser like ALT + Left Arrow does on PC. This should let you back off a junk page you were pushed onto without having to close the browser.
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b2young
Member Avatar
Sad firefighter
Hobie-wan
Sep 22 2016, 11:26 AM
For those on Macs, I imagine that Option + Left Arrow or Command + Left Arrow does the same as the back arrow in the browser like ALT + Left Arrow does on PC. This should let you back off a junk page you were pushed onto without having to close the browser.
Thanks, Hobie-wan. I'll try that in case it happens again (which, now that I've come to the right place, I can see I'm NOT ALONE!!!! :thumbup: )

I really want to stay here and participate....knowing it's not JUST me is comforting.....but then, I'm sad to see it's affecting others, too.

Apple user support "experts", at least one of them, related a story about how hosting sites contract with advertisers (more likely, conglomerators) to host their ads on the host's servers for that clickthru revenue sharing. But since some of these offending "ads" have included the bogus 'ransom' pages, and in my case have apparently embedded javascript code in the hosts' system that disables "action" features, such as buttons, in the browser--but of course, not the "advert"--I have on several occasions had to force-quit the browser to escape from the hijack.

Jedimario, if it helps when you contact ZB (if not too late already)....this is one of the offending hijack URLs I tried to report to ScamZapper to add to their list of URLs that redirect to scam pages....this may just be a URL for a "legitimate" software download site but I grabbed it because the ad that it showed must have used javascript to prevent me from accessing the back button and/or other browser functions:

http://www.thesofttic.com/ZiWblMur/win-f/gi/?SiteID=5032&conversion=43728218-01de-483e-809a-e530662e3bce
I would recommend NOT CLICKING ON THIS LINK.....I just posted it here to give ZB something to research as an example of an "offending" site and the URL of the offending popup that disabled my browser.

ScamZapper is a Mac-specific app that was designed to block scams (ransomware) on Safari on a Mac. It won't stop popup ads or even hijacking advertisements, it is strictly to help Safari users contend with ransomware and trojan sites. Their data set of "bad" URLs is what stops the popups/hijacks....so I provided this one to their database yesterday. Whether or not they add the URL to their list may depend on whether they agree it hosts scams and ransom 'ads'.
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