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Browser (sometimes) redirects me to a generic search engine with popups

#1 User is offline   bobappleton 

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 04:45 AM

What causes my browser (Firefox, Safari, Explorer) to (sometimes) redirect me to the search site www.search.net/?unknown and then launch annoying popups for search.com and cpxinteractive.com (Safari doesn't give the popups) when I type in a professional arts website www.a-g-i.org? As I say, sometimes it redirects, sometimes it doesn't.

In the past I'd have expected a 404 (file not found) message. Is there something wrong with the coding on this site? Is it a new internet phenomenon? I've used Macs and the web since 1984 and it's certainly
new to me!
When I search my question on Google I get "you must have some kind of mac-based adware".

PS: I'm putting this here because it seems to merit its own thread. I also posted a version of it in the MacScan discussion.
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#2 User is offline   bobappleton 

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 05:24 AM

PS: Now the redirect is happening when I try to access Facebook.



Any thoughts?!
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#3 User is offline   MacCheetah3 

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 06:31 AM

Hi
Well...As far as a site not coming up, it's probably a DNS issue anywhere between you and their hosting company. As far as the search site goes...

bobappleton said:

In the past I'd have expected a 404 (file not found) message.

This specific mention leads me to think that this is normal behavior. Some browsers and some ISPs have their own search pages they point to when a URL is not found instead of a 404. It most certainly can be annoying. Clearwire ( at work ) doesn't seem to have one that I've noticed but Charter ( at home ) does. Some registered URLs that don't currently have sites also usually point to a generic search page. It's all about the advertising. :)
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#4 User is offline   bobappleton 

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 07:02 AM

Thanks.

The actual site I get sent to is http://www.wsearch.net

My ISP is Rogers in Toronto.

I just googled wsearchnet and get a variety of results - with people having the same problem.



Will report any success I have later.
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#5 User is offline   bobappleton 

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 07:32 PM

I have found out that SMC modems - which Rogers Wireless in Canada (and some others I believe) uses and installs with High Speed Internet have a default which sends people randomly to www.wsearch.net


A number of forums refer to this problem, such as

forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic···052549c0

http://www.dslreport...ogers-wireless]



discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=7741517





Here is a workaround which seems to be effective for now:



NOTE: This is not a fix for the trojan called DNSchanger, or its
variant called zlob. (If you think you may have DNSchanger, you can
download a scanning app here: »[www.dnschanger.com/)
This
is a problem that appears to be isolated to SMC wireless modems and has
nothing to do with DNSchanger. It seems some SMC modems, on various
ISPs, are configured to redirect searches to wsearch.net pages.
(DNSchanger will redirect you to all sorts of other pages.)
SYMPTOMS:
1) Links in Google search results randomly redirect to wsearch.net pages or 503 Error pages.
2) Hyperlinks in non-google web pages randomly redirect to wsearch.net pages or 503 Error pages.
3) Single-word entries, or other non-HTML entries, in the URL address bar redirect to wsearch.net pages or 503 Error pages.
(We think all the 503 Errors may be a result of overload on the wesearch.net server due to all the redirects.)
If you have an SMC wireless modem and are experiencing some or all of these problems, here is the fix.
In a browser window, visit the SMC modem page: »192.168.0.1/login.asp
Login as follows
Username: cusadmin
Password: password
From the sidebar menu, choose LAN.
Notice
on the screen that appears that the "Domain Name" field has been preset
with mygateway.com. Change this to one of the following OpenDNS IPs:
208.67.222.222 or 208.67.222.220
Click "APPLY" and you will see
a prompt warning that your modem will have to reboot. Click "OK" on the
prompt to reboot the modem.
When your modem reboots (about 30 to 40 secs) all the problems should be gone.
(NOTE: If you reset you modem, this will restore the wsearch.net Domain Name default. Something you probably don't want to do.)
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#6 User is offline   multimedia 

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 03:42 PM

THE SAME THING happens to me! I try to log onto myspace, facebook, etc, and many times (now, more and more) I'm redirected to http://wsearch.net/?unknown. I'm using a wireless connection (which from certain message boards, I have found is relevant) and I'm using a Mac (OS X 10.4.11). I'm located in the northeast (ny). Someone please shed light.
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#7 User is offline   multimedia 

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 03:44 PM

THE SAME THING happens to me! I try to log onto myspace, facebook, etc, and many times (now, more and more) I'm redirected to http://wsearch.net/?unknown. I'm using a wireless connection (which from certain message boards, I have found is relevant) and I'm using a Mac (OS X 10.4.11). I'm located in the northeast (ny). Someone please shed light.
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#8 User is offline   multimedia 

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 03:46 PM

THE SAME THING happens to me! I try to log onto myspace, facebook, etc, and many times (now, more and more) I'm redirected to http://wsearch.net/?unknown. I'm using a wireless connection (which from certain message boards, I have found is relevant) and I'm using a Mac (OS X 10.4.11). I'm located in the northeast (ny). Someone please shed light.
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#9 User is offline   bobappleton 

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 05:38 PM

Unlike you, I'm in Toronto and use Rogers. However, since doing what I suggested in my last post I no longer have this problem. It worked for me. I suggest you try it.



b
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#10 User is offline   multimedia 

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Posted 13 September 2008 - 11:40 PM

I tried, but when I click the smc modem page link you provided, or even copy and paste it into a new browser, it leads me to a blank page. Any ideas?
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#11 User is offline   bobappleton 

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 03:18 AM

No. When I click on the SMC modem page it still takes me there. :8}
And I still don't get the www.wsearch page anymore. :) :) :) :^0 :)
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#12 User is offline   arjay9 

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 04:45 AM

I was having the same problem, (Wireless Modem with Rogers in Toronto) and simply un-plugging my modem for 2 sec. did the trick for me. I'm back on facebook with no problems now.
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#13 User is offline   paulgoodsalt 

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 05:10 AM

multimedia - your SMC modem may have a different IP than bobappleton, in order to login to your modem, you have to find out what that is. Also, to login to a SMC wireless modem you have to actually be connected to it via an ethernet cable, not wirelessly.
Simply unplugging and re-plugging in your modem won't solve this problem it will only postpone it from coming back. That sounds a lot like a rogers tech support solution, not a real solution.
thanks bobappleton for doing the research to solve this and posting it, appreciated.
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