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Topic: Beware of random Spam hotlinks in posts!

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  1. #1

    Beware of random Spam hotlinks in posts!

    EDIT: Update - Turns out this was totally on my computer, having nothing to do with this Forum. When I went to a different site, and saw the same thing happening - the light dawned, that something had been added on my computer either last night or this morning.

    I found a Firefox add on called "Adblock Plus" - and it's successfully blocking ads of ALL sorts everywhere. I can't even see the animated banner ads here at the Forum now. Oh well, at least this annoying ad pop up thing, "Text Enhance" isn't happening randomly with text anymore.

    This thread is instantly outdated - but I'm leaving the posts as is in case they're helpful to someone in the future.
    -------------------
    Today's the first time I've seen this. Random words on random posts have become links to ads. You can tell when a word is hotlinked, because the font is blue and the word is underlined. When you hover over these new hotlinked words, you'll see they're sponsored by "CouponDropDown." The pop-up ads are for all sorts of things, and some have soft core pictures of young women asking "Do you want a girlfriend?"

    DO NOT
    click any of those Spammed words - even if you DO want a girlfriend.

    PaPaChalk has been alerted.

    Randy

  2. #2

    Re: Beware of random Spam hotlinks in posts!

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    ........
    DO NOT
    click any of those Spammed words - even if you DO want a girlfriend.

    Randy
    Pity, I just wanted a new one, from Ukraine.

    Raymond

  3. #3

    Re: Beware of random Spam hotlinks in posts!

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond62 View Post
    Pity, I just wanted a new one, from Ukraine.

    Raymond
    hehehe - Raymond - Your name has become a hotlink for Spam in your reply - At least it is on my computer. Is it the same on your computer?

    EDIT: This is even more random than I realized before. After I replied, Raymond's name was no longer hotlinked - but the word "Computer" in my reply became a hotlink. This is crazy.

    Randy

  4. #4

    Re: Beware of random Spam hotlinks in posts!

    UPDATE - Like I said earlier, I've never seen this kind of Spam before. Now, after looking around online, I'm convinced the problem is here on my computer, not at Northern Sounds.

    There's a tenacious ad spamming "service" called "Text Enhance." I'm going to try and remove it from my computer - I have NO idea where this came from, and it just popped up today for the first time. Not knowing how our computers are attacked is a pretty common experience though.

    For those interested, here's info on this Text Enhance - and I'll just plop the naked URL in so you don't have to worry that my link wasn't intentional:

    http://botcrawl.com/how-to-remove-text-enhance/

    SO - Looks like this is My problem, not the Forum's. Hope nobody else is hassling with this.

    Randy

    EDIT: I found a Firefox add on called "Adblock Plus" - and it's successfully blocking ads of ALL sorts everywhere. I can't even see the animated banner ads here at the Forum now. Oh well, at least this annoying ad pop up thing, "Text Enhance" isn't happening randomly with text anymore.

    This thread is instantly outdated - but I'm leaving the posts as is in case they're helpful to someone in the future.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Sonare Coeli's Avatar
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    Re: Beware of random Spam hotlinks in posts!

    Randy, unfortunately you probably still have malicious software running on your computer. Adblock didn't remove the software that's actually causing this on your computer, it's just blocking the visible effects as they happen.

    What do you run for virus/malware/intrusion protection?

    There's this old notion that you shouldn't run virus protection software on your DAW, but if your DAW goes online ever, then you need it. You definitely need to keep virus protection disabled while you're working on music, but when you're just web browsing, it should certainly be on.

    I'd recommend Bitdefender Internet Security (it's their middle package). It'll cover all of the angles, and costs a very cheap $50 a year. It also hasn't caused me any problems with Sonar, Pro Tools, Finale, or Sibelius.

  6. #6

    Re: Beware of random Spam hotlinks in posts!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonare Coeli View Post
    Randy, unfortunately you probably still have malicious software running on your computer. Adblock didn't remove the software that's actually causing this on your computer, it's just blocking the visible effects as they happen.

    What do you run for virus/malware/intrusion protection?

    There's this old notion that you shouldn't run virus protection software on your DAW, but if your DAW goes online ever, then you need it. You definitely need to keep virus protection disabled while you're working on music, but when you're just web browsing, it should certainly be on.

    I'd recommend Bitdefender Internet Security (it's their middle package). It'll cover all of the angles, and costs a very cheap $50 a year. It also hasn't caused me any problems with Sonar, Pro Tools, Finale, or Sibelius.
    Hi, Tyler - Thanks for the post.

    Right, I understand that this "Text Enhance" is still on my computer. But I'm not overly concerned about it - it's just adware trying to trick people into clicking on links. Now that I can't see them - there's no danger of that happening, and I don't have the annoyance of these random links. My computer tech isn't concerned about "Text Enhance," it's not virus laden or dangerous, just intrusive.

    I use Avast, but I should either go back to or add Malwaretes, something my techie always recommends and I see highly rated online. I'm also going, at least for now, with the advice that protection packages with a price tag don't do any better job than free ones. We'll see, the jury's out on that one.

    What do you mean, though, about one's DAW going online--?-- Do you mean, working in a DAW while being online--?

    Randy

  7. #7
    Senior Member Sonare Coeli's Avatar
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    333

    Re: Beware of random Spam hotlinks in posts!

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Hi, Tyler - Thanks for the post.

    Right, I understand that this "Text Enhance" is still on my computer. But I'm not overly concerned about it - it's just adware trying to trick people into clicking on links. Now that I can't see them - there's no danger of that happening, and I don't have the annoyance of these random links. My computer tech isn't concerned about "Text Enhance," it's not virus laden or dangerous, just intrusive.
    That's definitely an option to just let it sit there, but a lot of adware programs include keyloggers and also keep a back door open for running remote tasks on your computer. This can also interfere with current tasks. I speak from experience here. A simple Adbot can ruin your day causing a session to freeze because of a CPU spike. As a final point - where there's one, there's probably more. Better to address it then wait for it to cause a problem. I know you're more prone to trust that tech you know because he's a friend and you know him personally, but I wouldn't leave stuff concerning my studio computer up to chance. I'm also a tech, if that helps anything.


    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    I use Avast, but I should either go back to or add Malwaretes, something my techie always recommends and I see highly rated online. I'm also going, at least for now, with the advice that protection packages with a price tag don't do any better job than free ones. We'll see, the jury's out on that one.
    Avast is also a good option, but you'll want the Avast version that includes internet security if you don't already have it. I never suggested that it was about money, but free virus software always has a lot of holes. $50 per year also isn't a "price tag", that works out to $4.17 a month. It's a little silly to avoid paying next to nothing when you get a near guarantee of safety from basically anything that a normal computer will encounter. Either way, this point is moot since we both pay for virus protection.


    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    What do you mean, though, about one's DAW going online--?-- Do you mean, working in a DAW while being online--?
    Sorry, different meaning for the same term. I meant DAW as in the whole machine (a computer dedicated to audio work can be called a DAW to simplify things). Anyways, what I mean is simple: when your studio computer is in a studio session, turn off the wifi and disable antivirus. When you're doing anything else, turn both back on, virus software first. That's all I meant. Some people like to ride bareback with their studio computers and don't run protection software at all, but still use it for online use. Huge no no.

  8. #8

  9. #9

    Re: Beware of random Spam hotlinks in posts!

    I have found the combination of two freeware apps to be sufficient to block malware (and most common registry problems caused apps that don't install properly or clean up after themselves when removed):

    Avast!
    Advanced System Care

    These should be used in conjunction with an ISP that does a decent job of blocking well known spammers and common sense practices that keep your email address from becomming a target. (For example, I use E-mail Obfuscator on my web site and an email address associated with my website aliased to an email address provided my ISP.)

    Taken together, these measures have reduced spam and malware to an extremely low level and made it possible to easily detect and remedy most security issues.

    Allegro Data Solutions

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