With Tiger comes ADWARE!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by qzak, May 8, 2005.

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  1. qzak macrumors 6502

    Jan 19, 2005
    Adware Widgets already!

    story from slashdot.org....

    Posted by timothy on Sunday May 08, @05:49PM
    from the not-good dept.
    bonch writes "If you're running Safari on OS X Tiger and go to this website, a 'slightly evil' Dashboard widget will be automatically downloaded and installed and can't be removed without manually removing the file from the Library folder and rebooting the computer. The widget is called Zaptastic and is a demonstration by the author of how easy it is to exploit Dashboard for nefarious purposes. The essay, released under the Creative Commons License, goes on to describe the many ways users can be taken advantage of--imagine porn sites auto-installing adware widgets without your knowledge." So if you're on a Mac, it would be smart to view that page with something other than Safari.

    it's the top story on the main page right now

    EDIT - my bad, didnt see it was already posted
  2. killuminati macrumors 68020


    Dec 6, 2004
  3. iBunny macrumors 65816

    Apr 15, 2004
    I for one am glad it is being posted multiple times. This is the first I have seen of it. Pretty messed up
  4. Brother Michael macrumors 6502a

    Brother Michael

    Apr 14, 2004
    Install Camino.

    Problem(s) solved.

    At least they are on my 10.3 system.

  5. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Actually, no. For those who have been asleep for the past six months, there is a new type of block-skirting pop-up/pop-under ad out there. A growing number of websites choose to support themselves with these ads. Camino is most certainly a victim. I understand that FireFox is most resistant, but no browser immune. The villian, however, are not the users. The villians are not the browser developers--except IE. The villians are the web sites who use these ads. When you encounter one, let the webmaster know that you don't appreciate his choice of ad medium.
  6. DXoverDY macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2005
    technically not even adware. more like malware. adware is an app supported via ads.. this isn't an app supported by ads. it's an app that could technically inflict damage.. no damage is done by adware, what you're thining is malware... malicious ware for those who don't get it.

    all that really needs to happen here is a popup asking if you'd like to install that widget or something along those lines. problem psuedo-solved. as stated in those threads on slashdot.. ultimately no app will be perfect.. users are 90% of the problem. they will click and run ANYTHING. if you're halfway intelligent then you know "mmm maybe i shouldn't click this" ... so if you're one of those users who just click anything.. that's your problem, not the developers.
  7. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    You can block the ad servers at the DNS level :)

    Hint: The /etc/hosts file is the one you want to look at.
  8. tech4all macrumors 68040


    Jun 13, 2004
    Do you (or anyone) have links to those threads? I would like to see them, but can't seem to find them.

    EDIT: Nevermind, I found one in the Current Events forum.
  9. DXoverDY macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2005
    widgets of DOOM is one of them, in this very forum. Mac OS X
  10. sourcemonkey macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2005
    One step forward, two steps back.
    Are we slowly kissing goodbye to our security vis-a-vis windows? i find this disturbing...
  11. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia

    We've got a little way to go. :D
  12. ja0912 macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2002
    While this is a problem and needs to be fixed, it's hardly scary. It just adds a widget to your widget library you may not want there. you still have to open it yourself, and you can still close it yourself.

    You can also delete it from ~/Library/Widgets/ and it's like it was never there.

    Additionally, I'm under the impression that a widget wouldn't be allowed deeper system access without at least a password from the user? Not sure about that one.

    Regardless: Apple, please correct this Safari/Dashboard behavior.
  13. BWhaler macrumors 68030


    Jan 8, 2003
    I wonder if you could of thought of a more inflammatory title for this thread.
  14. GeeYouEye macrumors 68000


    Dec 9, 2001
    State of Denial
    /etc/hosts doesn't do anything on a Mac except in single-user mode, unless things have drastically changed since Panther.

    Misterme: actually, OmniWeb seems to be immune to these: set the site preferences to block all pop-ups from that site and it works great. Much better than Safari's blocker, which blocks legit pop-ups, and lets these through.
  15. Superdrive macrumors 6502a


    Oct 21, 2003
    Dallas, Tx
    Should make widgets tougher to add. All this talk and "automation" in the system gives me a Windows feel. Something just doesnt sit right.
  16. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    Like I mentioned in the DOOM thread, I think Apple should do the following things:

    -Disable Safari's ability to auto-install Widgets - I mean what were they thinking?!

    -Move the Widgets folder to somewhere more easily found. Maybe next to the Applications folder, maybe inside the Applications folder, or maybe in the Home folder (that will make more sense, since Apple separates user Widgets and system Widgets). Oh, and put it in the sidebar by default.

    No need for a dialog asking if you want to install the Widget. It should be treated like any other drag-and-drop install applications.
  17. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    Try it. It works.
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