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Thursday, January 09, 2003

Enough with the RealNames Knockoffs!

Not a day goes by that I don't receive a spam e-mail from one of the countless imitators of RealNames' defunct Internet Keyword system. Well, I've had just about enough!

The latest scam comes from a so-called Roger Smithson with a so-called 2000Notes Business Solutions at the suspicious URL http://upgradingyourbrowser.com/. When you click on their "More Info" button embedded in their spam e-mail, you'll get an Active X control window asking if you want to install some kind of CAB file, which probably installs some sort of spyware or adware. Obviously, it's not a good idea to install the control.

I read somewhere recently that this scam is spreading like wildfire across the Web, and people are actually falling for it. Please, dear Traffick reader, don't ever fall for one of these scams! They are almost certainly phony and even if their technology works, no normal person would download their "Internet Keyword" plug-in. Just a note of caution, because at Traffick.com, we care about you!

Posted by Cory
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Tuesday, January 07, 2003

Internet Explorerer Mystery Solved?

Thanks to a Traffick reader, we may have found the source of the incessant Internet Explorerer pop-up windows. Here's the text of an e-mail I received from a reader named Greg, who accidentally found the source of the problem:

I was in the process of opening a PDF file in my browser, when that phantom window popped up. Then, BOTH windows locked up (some problem with the PDF, evidently).

Anyway, I hovered my cursor over the phantom window, and instead of seeing "Microsft Internet Explorerer" as usual, I saw this IP address: 207.246.124.101. It had apparently locked up at the exact right instant for me to see it.

I did a DNS lookup and found it belonged to vx2.com. A few minutes of searching the web, and I found this:

http://www.cexx.org/vx2.htm#remove

Basically, a dll called vx2.dll is responsible for the phantom window. It lives in your Windows directory, not in a temp folder, a cahce folder, or a temporary Internet folder.

This is an evil little bastard of a spyware file:

http://www.wired.com/news/print/0,1294,49960,00.html

I almost certainly got it from an AudioGalaxy update. I'd be interested to know if, like me, you were using AudioGalaxy during the fall of 2001.

Anyway, I felt like I had finally found and killed that little mosquito that was buzzing in my ear all night. Very satisfying.


Wow, thanks for the tip, Greg! I did in fact run AudioGalaxy during that time period, so that probably was the cause for me. Furthermore, I uninstalled it a few months ago, right around the time the windows stopped popping up, so it makes sense to me...


Posted by Cory
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Monday, January 06, 2003

Stoopid Corporate Tricks Part 398,446

Major corporations and organizations continue to be aghast that someone might actually wish to link to their web site. Now I was under the impression that the Internet was a public space, where companies post pages that they want the public to see (and if they didn't want them to see it, they could password-protect or otherwise hide those pages). So is it possibly that it's reverse psychology of some sort?

Posted by Andrew
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Sunday, January 05, 2003

Burn him at the stake

It looks like the Feds are thinking about bringing charges against former Merrill Lynch Internet Analyst Henry Blodget, the dope who rated Net stocks highly in public and then derided them as "POS" stocks in private. Yes, we can thank him and others of his ilk for the illusory stock market golden age of the late '90s that crashed hard and took so much of our personal wealth down with it (however ill-gotten that wealth was!).

Personally, I hope that jackass gets the maximum sentence for helping screw things up so royally. Sure, he didn't "start the fire," but he personally threw gallons upon gallons of gasoline on the blaze and profited from the crime. Remember his $400 price target for Amazon.com? Sure, you do.

Burn, Henry, burn.

Posted by Cory
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