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About:Blank Virus here?

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posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 08:46 AM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord

Originally posted by SpittinCobra
Ad-Ware calls them tracking-cookies. (sorry for using the wrong term)

IM pretty sure it has to do with google ad-sense.


Cookies are not malicious. The myth that they are is a fallacy perpetuated by virus/malware scanning companies. We use up to ten total cookies to validate our logged-in users across different areas of the ATS services and domains.



Originally posted by Kalapadea
4 popups on this page so far

They didn't come from us. Logged-in members don't get any pop-ups, and guests have a frequency cap of two pops.


It must be an avatar or something because I'm logged in and I get 2 popups every minute. Crappy popups too, "Registry cleaner" my arse


It cant be something else, because this machine is BRAND NEW, I loaded the network drivers, came to ATS, logged in, and I keep getting em, I haven't even loaded the Pop-up blocker. Unless when I reach the main page unlogged in I receive something from a popup that affects my browsing later




posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 11:03 AM
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I have had to fight a lot of spyware and the one that kills About: Blank is CWshredder.

Just remember to turn the System Restore OFF first.


Here is a good tutorial: www.akadia.com...

It's more of an IE thing so use Firefox and life will be good.



posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 11:03 AM
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Originally posted by Kalapadea
I'm logged in and I get 2 popups every minute. Crappy popups too, "Registry cleaner" my arse

Your machine is infected. There is a piece of adware on your computer that is initiating the popups (or another window is open that you're not aware of).

It would not be the first time new machines have shipped with infections.



posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 11:56 AM
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One of the best methods is to open the Task Manager and look to see what processes are running. Take some of those names a Google tham to see what they are.

You will probably find some process running that is opening a pop window every so often.

Even better, keep the task Manager open and watch the processes (you can sort by CPU usage by clicking it at the top) and you should see trojan processes activate (and use some CPU usage). By watching the usage and then seeing the pop windows open...you should be able to tell what is doing it.

Then check that process in Google and you should find out how to kill it.



posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 02:00 PM
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i used my frend's labtop to go here and now his labtop has the virus he is now goin to reformat the whole thing. i told him im sorry.



posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 02:30 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord

Originally posted by Kalapadea
I'm logged in and I get 2 popups every minute. Crappy popups too, "Registry cleaner" my arse

Your machine is infected. There is a piece of adware on your computer that is initiating the popups (or another window is open that you're not aware of).

It would not be the first time new machines have shipped with infections.


Woah woah now, I dont wanna get pulled in much further but, this is my job SO. Spyware is my life, I love cleaning machines, none of the comps I build ever start out with any, (besides windows). I mean I'm pretty sure I know when I'm infected, try taking a look with hijackThis sometime. I've come to this site from over 100 computers, everyone gets the same amount of popups, content changes of course, but I'd say 90% of the computers I use I've checked for spyware repeatedly.

I'm trying to figure out what's causing it, but I haven't had time yet today. I do not get this about:blank thing, but I do get popups. I don't think we're on the same page with this about:blank script. I think his firefox is giving him a glitchy error from noscript, or he was already infected sometime ago, but so far in my dealings with ATS, I haven't gotten that. Only the popups. I actually do get a sript error every now and then, but I haven't figured that one out yet, I just get a window that pops up and says "1" then I close it.

My browser isn't hijacked, neither Teatime, nor Ad-watch has picked up anything more than cookies from this site.

I build all my own machines.

EDIT: Sorry if its disjointed a little bit, I'm very tired and this ticks me off some, if you want to talk more about spyware, let me know, its all I do all day most of the time. (I've never had to wipe a machine because of a virus or spyware, there is always a fix.)

[edit on 10/6/2005 by Kalapadea]



posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 02:41 PM
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Originally posted by Kalapadea
Woah woah now, I dont wanna get pulled in much further but, this is my job SO. Spyware is my life, I love cleaning machines, none of the comps I build ever start out with any, (besides windows). I mean I'm pretty sure I know when I'm infected, try taking a look with hijackThis sometime. I've come to this site from over 100 computers, everyone gets the same amount of popups, content changes of course, but I'd say 90% of the computers I use I've checked for spyware repeatedly.


I have been here from 6 different PCs using various browsers over the last 2 years. I have never gotten any spyware from here. Zero.

I think the issue MORE than the spyware for me...is the finger-pointing at ATS as the cause. I am SURE that this is not the only site you ever visit.

Believe me, Skeptic would kill anything generating spyway in a second but in all our testing...we just haven't seen a thing. And yes, I have just as much experience with spyware and building PCs as yourself.



posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 02:47 PM
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the problem may lie with one of the ads .
If an advertiser uses a rotator (which many do) one of the sites can run a script to auto-install an ad-clicker.
Admins of both the advertising site as well as the advertisong service have an extreme amount of difficulty in tracking such occurances when they happen.
I used to run an ad share program and i have ran into some cases where someone had a rotator set up (hidden) that rotated up to 100 sites/ ads so when I was investigating complaints, it took a great deal of time to verify then disable the offending ads.



posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 03:07 PM
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Originally posted by ZeddicusZulZorander

Originally posted by Kalapadea
Woah woah now, I dont wanna get pulled in much further but, this is my job SO. Spyware is my life, I love cleaning machines, none of the comps I build ever start out with any, (besides windows). I mean I'm pretty sure I know when I'm infected, try taking a look with hijackThis sometime. I've come to this site from over 100 computers, everyone gets the same amount of popups, content changes of course, but I'd say 90% of the computers I use I've checked for spyware repeatedly.


I have been here from 6 different PCs using various browsers over the last 2 years. I have never gotten any spyware from here. Zero.

I think the issue MORE than the spyware for me...is the finger-pointing at ATS as the cause. I am SURE that this is not the only site you ever visit.

Believe me, Skeptic would kill anything generating spyway in a second but in all our testing...we just haven't seen a thing. And yes, I have just as much experience with spyware and building PCs as yourself.


I definitely saw this coming, like right after I posted I realized I made a slight (huge) booboo. this site has ads, not spyware, I get 2 tracking cookies when I am not logged in and I view the front page. I've been really monitroing the difference lately. What I want to come across with, is that SOMETIMES even logged in, I get 2 popups, at the same time, followed by a minute pause. If I stay on the thread long enough, I don't get them anymore. But its usually only the first to third thread I view that has them. Once I've logged in I can browse away madly like I do all day long and not have an issue. I'm not pointing at ATS, I'm pointing at the add banners I get that come up.

Experiment: I did this on a new computer, want the specs? p4 840 Dual core, gig DDR2, etc.

First I load windows (duh) and I load ad-aware using the company CD, I run a scan and find a cookie or two in windows. Next I go immediately to IE and I go directly to "www.abovetopsecret.com" I just view the front page, and I get 2 popups, and what looks like a messenger window, just a GUI box with the number 1 inside.

Next I loaded ad-aware, scanned, and found 2 tracking cookies. Then I browsed to the forum page, got 2 popups ran a scan, found one cookie. Then I logged in, and browsed around a bit, ran ad-aware and didn't find anything. (no popups while browsing either).

Thus ends the great experiment

So basically, I get a few cookies when I'm not logged in, and a few popups, after that I'm good. I've yet to scan again after browsing for about 30 min while logged in though. when I get back to the other office I'll do just that.

EDIT: So basically the about:blank error you are receiving is because of those first popups , or something you got somewhere else. So far I admit I was a little crazy in the beginning looking into this, but I've realized now SO and zedd were right about the absence of spyware at ATS, sorry about that.

If you've never noticed before, when a popup first starts to open, the window is called "About:blank" sometimes it stays that way. I think the trojan you're thinking of is totally unrelated.

[edit on 10/6/2005 by Kalapadea]



posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 04:05 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlordWhy do you feel it is fair to enjoy our significant suite of member services while blocking the only means we have to receive compensation for providing those services?
Why does it come back to the unspoken reference to like it all or leave? It is your site you can anything you want with it, but the better questions are; are you in the business first and foremost of selling advertisement and the products associated with them or in the business of hosting a discussion website? Do you not advertise membership as enjoying the relief from just such advertisements?

We are an advertising supported website, however, our members are highly valued and respected. Registered and logged-in members see much less advertising than guests, and never get any pop-up ads.
Is it not enough that the advertisements are displayed on all sides of the various pages for all who wish to shop them of their free accord, so why then is it necessary to force further advertisements when coming into the site and its affiliates, and somehow circumvent the very product that I and others have paid for for the very purpose of keeping spyware often planted within these pests from attaching themselves to our computers and slowing them down? I use google and yahoo, as examples, free of charge, yet they have no issue with the fact that my popup blocker does its job, and they both employ a significant suite of services also, but I do not avail myself of them all either, nor care for all of them.

And since the undercurrent is that I should accept whatever you want to show me while on your site, it is only fair that I mention that at least three weeks ago I decided that the ATS Weekly was not providing any information not already findable on the site; no information that did not require I link back to ATS which is not where I intend to be when reading my mail, and no information on my areas of interest, and so I unsubscribed. They came anyway, I then unchecked the appropriate box in my profile and still they continued, why? Why then do you feel it is fair to provide the member with the option to accept your e-mail but ignore the notices to stop doing so? Why is it different that you feel it is fair that you should have the right to deliver unwanted mail to my personal e-mail which I pay for when you are telling me above in so many words that I utilize your site at no charge and therefore should accept whatever you embed within same?


Your IT manager is wrong. We have several systems in place to prevent malicious code from reaching our members.
I beg to differ with you, my IT manager is not wrong, he is far too versed in what he does to be. And I can guarantee you that the attacks took place within seconds of my entry in here, and within five minutes, he was in my chair tracing the culprit to Schlend and Partner AG routed through New York, The UK and Germany, who it seems has quite the reputation for installing viruses and spyware via their clients businesses. Now I have no idea if ATS deals with this company or not, and I did not say that you did, but I do know that the attacks took place while in here. So if in fact it might be via a member’s avatar, your several systems which you have in place to prevent malicious code obviously needs tweaking. I don’t understand why you get so defensive about the issues brought to your attention by various members, and rather than do so, you might wish to ponder that the issue is not with our computers at all, because this:

We've constantly maintained that if any member or guest brings any specific concern over the content or performance of any ad on our domains, it will be swiftly addressed.
does not jive with this dismissal

so the probability that they've allowed malicious ads into their network is near-zero, at best.



posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 04:06 PM
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I'm really confused here... maybe some of you can help.

I've been online since before "online" was the thing to do. I was on Mark Andreessen's email distribution list for the very first private beta of Netscape and have been regularly involved in online technology (client and server sides) since the web was called "the mosaic".

And to this day, I still cannot understand why people consider "tracking cookies" to be something avoided or malicious. Without cookies, ATS (and many sites) simply wouldn't work.

Certainly, the makers of malware scanner software have perpetuated the myth that cookies are bad... but still... it's absurd.

So... why oh why do people think this way about cookies?



posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 04:57 PM
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Because only sugary cookies are good cookies.


I'm just trying to figure the darn problem out, forget my obsession to cookies.

If you don't mind me askin, how much ARE you paying for a managed cluster?

[edit on 10/6/2005 by Kalapadea]



posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 05:31 PM
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Sadly reading this thread brings up some of the worst aspects of running a site such as this. In an attempt to create a site that looks at conspiracy issues, the board itself gets accused of being a "conspiracy".

I have been on the net for many years, and had many machines during that time. With a firewall (zonealarm), an email checker (mailwasher) a virus scanner (nortons at the moment - the least important factor) and running Opera or Firefox I have had only about 3 viruses or trogans in all that time.

SomewhereinBetween 's hysterical posts and Kalapadea cookie concern are issues for them to address.

ATS does not have a NEED to put spyware on peoples machines. If you want to be safe on the net then protect your own machine. ATS is not the problem, maybe its adverts can cause trouble but the solution lies in the user having the right equipemnt on their machines to protect them.

ATS is NOT a conspiracy, its a forum, try and seperate the messanger from the message.

[edit on 6-10-2005 by Netchicken]



posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 05:38 PM
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Originally posted by SomewhereinBetween
Why does it come back to the unspoken reference to like it all or leave? It is your site you can anything you want with it, but the better questions are; are you in the business first and foremost of selling advertisement and the products associated with them or in the business of hosting a discussion website? Do you not advertise membership as enjoying the relief from just such advertisements?


There are thousands of websites that operate the same way so that YOU the user doesn't have to pay. What exactly is the big gripe about that?


Is it not enough that the advertisements are displayed on all sides of the various pages for all who wish to shop them of their free accord, so why then is it necessary to force further advertisements when coming into the site and its affiliates, and somehow circumvent the very product that I and others have paid for for the very purpose of keeping spyware often planted within these pests from attaching themselves to our computers and slowing them down?


What product is that? You paid for a spyware blocker? Than if you paid for it...it should work or get your money back. Essentially you are mad because you see ads before getting in the bus, you see ads on the bus ride...yet the ride is free for you. If you bought glasses that stop you from seeing ads, how is that the bus driver's fault?


Why is it different that you feel it is fair that you should have the right to deliver unwanted mail to my personal e-mail which I pay for when you are telling me above in so many words that I utilize your site at no charge and therefore should accept whatever you embed within same?


I personally don't know about the emails, but what is the big gripe? I would bet money you get more spam regarding viagra then the weekly ATS email. I have a process for unwanted email. Delete button.


I don’t understand why you get so defensive about the issues brought to your attention by various members, and rather than do so, you might wish to ponder that the issue is not with our computers at all, because this.


Of course it "defensive" when your attacking a site that has thousands of users and there has never been an issue. I assure you that I am on this site 8 hours a day average for the last 2 years (in two months) and I have never had an issue. Every now and then when I am not logged in I get a couple initial popwindows. I closed them, login and move on.

I also have other computers in my house (4 actually) and yes, I have one that gets spyware all the time. Why? Kids. Most of those games sites do carry spyware. Do you ever visit sites that have flash games and the like? Far more likely culprit than ATS.



posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 05:46 PM
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Well said Zedd and thank you for giving us this forum. I've been visiting this site for years as a guest without any issues other than the 2 popups.

I'm wondering if someone didn't get a good night's sleep or something.



posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 05:51 PM
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Originally posted by thejunk
Well said Zedd and thank you for giving us this forum. I've been visiting this site for years as a guest without any issues other than the 2 popups.

I'm wondering if someone didn't get a good night's sleep or something.


Ditto. Been here all day and other than the first three pops (I was not logged in) which I just closed...I have had nothing.

I have been here for a couple years myself and never had an issue on any of the 3 PCs I have had during that time.



posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 05:59 PM
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When I began this thread it was not to be critical of ATS but to point out what I was seeing on my "noscript," something that happened again once today, but that I have not seen most of the day today.

Since I already have the protection programs running, I myself have not had any problems, however it is good for others to know what might happen without those programs.

Some time ago after working on the computer of a friend, I also found the "about:blank," trojan, which not only hijacks your browser, but also loads your tray with other trojans at a mind boggling rate, slowing your computer down to a snail's pace.

Luckily I had found some answers and removed it totally with several different programs in safe mode. I discovered you do not necessarily have to reformat.

In my thoughts this entire post is about good will, and helping others.



posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 06:05 PM
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Originally posted by SomewhereinBetween
the attacks took place within seconds of my entry in here, and within five minutes, he was in my chair tracing the culprit to Schlend and Partner AG routed through New York, The UK and Germany, who it seems has quite the reputation for installing viruses and spyware via their clients businesses. Now I have no idea if ATS deals with this company or not, and I did not say that you did, but I do know that the attacks took place while in here. So if in fact it might be via a member’s avatar, your several systems which you have in place to prevent malicious code obviously needs tweaking.

You implied we were the source of the attack. It's more fun to stir the pot with public accusations of potential wrong-doing isn't it? After-all, where is the fun in providing me that important troubleshooting data in a private U2U or email? We might actually locate the avatar hosted on a server that processes code while delivering a GIF image and ban the user and remove the avatar. But that would be too quiet and not cause a public stir now wouldn't it?

Please, there are several people that devote a great deal of personal time to make this the best possible experience for our members. Unfortunately, we can't possible see everything that happens and avatars or other graphics hosted on malicious servers can happen. Also, the infrastructure to support the broadest range of member services of any online forum is costly and requires an advertising strategy that involves several top-tier banner networks as well as Google AdSense. We've selected premium ad providers because they pre-screen all advertisers, but suspicious or inappropriate ads may still appear on occasion. All we've ever asked is that our members collaborate with us in the same spirit we provide a feature-rich experience by pointing out problems (with details) so we can take action. Implying we're affiliated in some way with a "known malware" site serves no purpose other than drama dredging.



posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 06:07 PM
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Originally posted by thejunk
I'm wondering if someone didn't get a good night's sleep or something.


Haven't had a good night's sleep in about 2 weeks. Happy?

This is a really funny thread, in the beginning I thought the whole thread was about one thing, then I got confused, then I got mad (lord knows why) then I understood, and now I think I need more sleep.

Zed, the only relatively ad-free gamesite I've ever been to is www.teagames.com

I quit "blaming" ATS after Ifigured out what I was saying, which was a little crazy, I never meant that cookies were EVIL, just that "tracking" cookies are kind of bad, seeing as how they watch your habits and report them back in. Which is different than password cookies that just save your logins and settings.

Arg, this is the same reason I got all ticked off at agit8 the other day, when people assume I'm "just another internet user" It's not your fault. I'm just edgy.



posted on Oct, 7 2005 @ 02:08 PM
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I have had to fight a lot of spyware and the one that kills About: Blank is CWshredder.


Yep, yep, yep....
Damn good advice.

Man, I had that a while back and it really ticked me off. I ended up doing an F & R to finally kill it. Had a recurrance of it, used the above, and it took care of it. (and I felt like a fool, hehe....)



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