• 27000+ Members! Dear Guest, click this link to join the community on the official RaceDepartment Discord server

Invasive full-page hijack phishing ads on RD mobile.

Mascot

Card-carrying mod whore
Jul 13, 2014
2,757
2,075
The site has been unusable for me on mobile today with full-page phishing ads (you have won an iPhone etc) hijacking every page. They can't be skipped or shut down, they hijack the whole browser.
Very annoying.
Do RD have any control over these? They are not what I'd expect from a respected site like RD.
NeoGAF suffered from these before the collapse and got them stopped pretty quickly.
No other site is causing them to appear, only RD.

Anyone else suffering?
 

Neilski

3000RPM
Staff member
Premium
Jan 7, 2017
3,392
1,494
To test it, I just logged out and almost immediately got a problem on my own phone, getting redirected to a site by the name of "samsung-giveaway" or similar. However, I've also been getting the same/similar dodgy ads on lots of other websites for the last few days on my phone, so I think there's some new exploit out there which will hopefully be squashed very quickly.

As for the ad content, I think we have pretty minimal control but @Dave Stephenson and @Bram Hengeveld know a lot more about the details.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mascot

Kenny Paton

10000RPM
Premium
Sep 26, 2009
12,407
6,042
Not on RD, but I've had them recently on some tech and hi fi sites.
Either the iPhone one or Samsung galaxy 10. Definitely a Google thing despite adblockers. PITA.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mascot

Dave Stephenson

RaceDepartment Technical Administrator
Staff member
Premium
Sep 4, 2007
10,003
1,608
I'll report it to our ad partner though I suspect they'll need to bump it up the chain to Google. We did experience something similar some time ago and as others have said at that time it also seemed to affect other sites. I suspect something has slipped the net and made it into the demand pool on Google's side. Thanks for reporting it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Andrew and Mascot

Jakal31

250RPM
Mar 17, 2016
251
136
36
I'm not on mobile, but I had this happen to me yesterday. Came to RD, was not logged in, left the room and returned a few moments later to find a full red page telling me something about someone trying to hijack my pc, seemed like firefox (or windows?) tried to stop it. But, by the time I returned the machine was completely locked up. :confused:

I finally got to task manager (very slowly!) and killed firefox. Had nothing else running and whatever it was had my RAM (16gb) nearly maxed out. Disk was completely bottlenecked.
Quickly ran some cleaning tools and semi assured myself everything was ok.
Spent today being far more thorough about that.

Redirect took me to a place called "liverbaijan, info" if that's of any use.

For now, a blocker is in place, though I usually have it disabled here. Must be assured that's sorted before I'm brave enough to turn it back off :)
 

Neilski

3000RPM
Staff member
Premium
Jan 7, 2017
3,392
1,494
I'm not on mobile, but I had this happen to me yesterday. Came to RD, was not logged in, left the room and returned a few moments later to find a full red page telling me something about someone trying to hijack my pc, seemed like firefox (or windows?) tried to stop it. But, by the time I returned the machine was completely locked up. :confused:

I finally got to task manager (very slowly!) and killed firefox. Had nothing else running and whatever it was had my RAM (16gb) nearly maxed out. Disk was completely bottlenecked.
Quickly ran some cleaning tools and semi assured myself everything was ok.
Spent today being far more thorough about that.

Redirect took me to a place called "liverbaijan, info" if that's of any use.

For now, a blocker is in place, though I usually have it disabled here. Must be assured that's sorted before I'm brave enough to turn it back off :)
That sucks :( Thanks for the report though. Hopefully passing it up the chain will get it squashed...
 

Ho3n3r

5000RPM
Oct 20, 2010
5,570
1,839
Only since January 2018. :p

I would highly suggest not using any mobile device to browse RD if you care about your device security at all. Little (nothing) has been done about this, and this issue likely wont be quashed entirely.
Been browsing this site on mobile and PC for 8 years now, never even had this issue even once. So it might be on your ends as well.
 

Neilski

3000RPM
Staff member
Premium
Jan 7, 2017
3,392
1,494
Been browsing this site on mobile and PC for 8 years now, never even had this issue even once. So it might be on your ends as well.
Very kind of you to speak up for us :thumbsup::thumbsup:
However (and I suspect I might regret pointing this out!) if you've been a Premium user the whole time, then you won't have had any ads at all.
 

Ho3n3r

5000RPM
Oct 20, 2010
5,570
1,839
Very kind of you to speak up for us :thumbsup::thumbsup:
However (and I suspect I might regret pointing this out!) if you've been a Premium user the whole time, then you won't have had any ads at all.
I have rarery been a premium user throughout that time, though - less than 18 months.

But fair point, recent ads could be causing it.
 

Mascot

Card-carrying mod whore
Jul 13, 2014
2,757
2,075
Invasive ads on mobile are back with a vengeance today. Makes the app pretty much unusable.
 

Kenny Paton

10000RPM
Premium
Sep 26, 2009
12,407
6,042
Mascot
I've just logged in after clearing my browser cache with no issues, Chrome on Android Pie. I really think it's a Google thing.
 

Frank

RaceDepartment Administrator
Staff member
Premium
Oct 9, 2010
3,591
1,080
The ads are served by Google, we can't change much about that. However if you get "malicious" ads it probably is at your own end.
 

Mascot

Card-carrying mod whore
Jul 13, 2014
2,757
2,075
The ads are served by Google, we can't change much about that. However if you get "malicious" ads it probably is at your own end.
How do you mean? Aren't these pushed through from the server side?
 

Jakal31

250RPM
Mar 17, 2016
251
136
36
We use AdSense, if you want to have an idea of how it functions, you can find information here:
https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/6242051?hl=en
A quick internet search regarding AdSense and malicious attack ads, redirects, etc etc will show this isn't just a user end problem. It's also not a new problem in regards to AdSense, by any means.
With the amount of information out there regarding this very issue, claiming it's a user end issue only won't really cut it with those that know better. (Some of us are quite OCD about our machines)

But, posts like these from staff, blaming the users without taking into account the plethora of readily available information regarding potentially malicious AdSense ads certainly tells me my adblocker isn't being disabled any time soon on this site.
 

Frank

RaceDepartment Administrator
Staff member
Premium
Oct 9, 2010
3,591
1,080
A quick internet search regarding AdSense and malicious attack ads, redirects, etc etc will show this isn't just a user end problem. It's also not a new problem in regards to AdSense, by any means.
With the amount of information out there regarding this very issue, claiming it's a user end issue only won't really cut it with those that know better. (Some of us are quite OCD about our machines)

But, posts like these from staff, blaming the users without taking into account the plethora of readily available information regarding potentially malicious AdSense ads certainly tells me my adblocker isn't being disabled any time soon on this site.
The ad auctions indeed used to lead to some malicious attacks in the past, most of it is confined nowadays and whenever something gets through Google tends to sort it quite fast. If you are seeing malicious ads every single time or regularly, you can be sure it is at the user end.
 

Mascot

Card-carrying mod whore
Jul 13, 2014
2,757
2,075
It's not all the time or even regular. I've only experienced it the two times I've reported it, with each lasting a day or two.
 

Jakal31

250RPM
Mar 17, 2016
251
136
36
The ad auctions indeed used to lead to some malicious attacks in the past, most of it is confined nowadays and whenever something gets through Google tends to sort it quite fast. If you are seeing malicious ads every single time or regularly, you can be sure it is at the user end.
"Most" does not mean all, nor is it by any means confined. You may have that confidence, however I don't. Sorry, not willing to take that risk.

I don't see malicious ads every time, nor regularly.
Actually, just the one time I reported it in this thread.

And it wasn't when I first came to the site...it was after being here a while, downloading something (which forced me to turn off my ad blocker for a few moments, then walking away and leaving my pc idle. I had no other tabs open, was only on this site...was logged in. Had just cleaned PC in my typical OCD fashion.

I'm positive it's not user end, because I never have issues anywhere else with such a thing besides one site I use (where I now never turn off my ad blocker these days)......coincidentally, they use AdSense as well. Go figure. That site has taken steps more than a few times to minimize it. They've admitted it can be an issue, and has been in the past, but it persists (mostly for mobile users there though)

Anyways, my point wasn't really all that, nor was I complaining with problems at this moment.
What I was getting at was more about the attitude from staff here that this is a user end only problem (which means absolutely nothing at all is being done...not even acknowledgement and maybe attempts to track down the malicious ads that slip through at times)

I've even stopped downloading content here, because I have to turn off ad blocker for that.
I'd like to turn off ad blocker while visiting this place, especially since currently I'm not a premium member...it's the tiny bit I can do while I'm not as active here. But, I won't do that until I'm sure this is being taken seriously.
 
  • Like
Reactions: natedogg1867