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Major ISPs Injecting Ads, Vulnerabilities Into Web 116

Posted by timothy
from the do-you-feel-violated dept.
Rebecca Bug writes "Several Web sites (Wired, eWEEK, The Washington Post) are reporting on Dan Kaminsky's Toorcon discussion of a serious security risk introduced when major ISPs serve ads on error pages. Kaminsky found that the advertising servers are impersonating, via DNS, hostnames within trademarked domains. 'We have determined that these injected servers are, in fact, vulnerable to cross-site scripting attacks. Since these servers are being injected into your trademarked domains, their vulnerability can be used to attack your users and your sites,' Kaminsky said, identifying EarthLink, Verizon and Qwest among the ISPs."
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Major ISPs Injecting Ads, Vulnerabilities Into Web

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  • WTF are trademarked domains ?

    -S
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kjella (173770)
      Well, I'd say it's domains you can lay claim to by trademark, there's been cases where domain squatters have been forced to turn over domain names. That's generally been when the company has a unique name (i.e. not like apple) that the squatter is basicly just blocking. In any case, I guess the point was just "big, important sides are being faked".
    • Well "Microsoft", "Encarta", and "MSN" are all examples of registered trademarks of "Microsoft Corporation", so a trademarked domain would be msn.com, for example. The domain "foo.msn.com" doesn't exist but it sounds like it will resolve if you're on one of these ISP's. If you try to go to http://foo.msn.com/ [msn.com] on one of them then you'll end up with an advertising page of their own making rather than a simple "Firefox can't find the server at foo.msn.com" style of error from your web browser.
      • by Dan541 (1032000)
        Thats identity theft the ISP is pretending to be msn.com when they are not.

        ~Dan
        • by yuna49 (905461)
          No, they're not pretending to be msn.com. They're putting up an error page with advertising that tells you that you've requested a non-existent subdomain address.

          This sort of thing has been around for a while year. A few years back, Network Solutions started hijacking all queries for non-existent domains in .com, .net, and .org. It took sustained opposition from savvy techies, and some patches to ISC BIND to thwart these efforts, before Network Solutions relented.

          I run my own DNS servers so I'm pretty mu
  • by the i-feel-duped department.
    • Re:brought to you (Score:5, Informative)

      by PReDiToR (687141) on Sunday April 20, 2008 @12:11AM (#23132492) Homepage Journal
      Duped? I feel duped, but not in that way.

      I have been trying to get an article about Phorm [phorm.com] onto the front page for ages.
      Maybe I should have tried this angle.

      How about a compromised adserver on the Phorm [wikipedia.org] network?
      Every BT, Virgin and Carphone Warehouse customer would have malware foisted upon them by their ISP.

      News for American nerds, maybe. UK nerds might like to know about things like this without having to check the Phorm files [theregister.co.uk] at El Reg.
      • by Inda (580031)
        Phorm scares me too. Write to your ISP. I put in a full complaint. I will put in another when this issue arises in the media again.

        ----- ----- -----

        Hi xxxxxxxxx

        REFERENCE : xxxxxxxxxx

        Thank you for your e-mail dated 5 April 2008, regarding our possible
        future association with Phorm. I am sending you this email to confirm
        Virgin Media's position.

        I understand your concerns and would like to thank you for your
        feedback. However I must stress that although Virgin Media have signed a
        provisional agreement with Phorm,
  • by doublee3 (1276070) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @06:37PM (#23130506)
    I first read it as "Major ISPs Injecting Aids", but then found I wasn't very far off.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by ohtani (154270)
      You took the words right out of my mouth there. "Aids? What?" *click* "Oh, Ads... Wait no, they meant Aids"
  • ... Is that ISP's won't dare to inject ads for porno sites... and ads just aren't ads if they're not for porn.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    forgetting the whole http protocol forever and dusting off the good old Gopher, I bet no ISP has any idea on howto inject into THAT :)
  • Verizon (Score:4, Informative)

    by FlyByPC (841016) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @06:48PM (#23130582) Homepage
    Verizon's DSL service, at least in Philadelphia, redirects DNS lookup failures by default. I found this out after mistyping some URL or other. Looking into it, they do have a way to opt out of this "service" -- although if you're not at least reasonably competent with making TCP/IP configuration changes on a home router, don't bother; it involves looking up and modifying IP addresses. Not a big deal to most /.ers, I'd say, but a nightmare for the general public.

    Perhaps if there's enough coordinated consumer demand, we could create a market for a certified "standard Internet connection" -- which gives a public IP (static or DHCP) and unfiltered, unadulterated 'Net access -- no port blocking, no bandwidth throttling, no DHCP redirects, no PPPoE or other strange "install-this-software-to-connect-to-the-Internet" schemes. Just gimme a basic 'Net feed terminating in an Ethernet port, thankyouverymuch.

    Also, apparently I have yet to "decide" whether I want to choose MSN, AOL, or Yahoo for my "Internet Experience." Such a decision might well take me a while, Verizon...
    • by Lennie (16154)
      It's called darkfiber and IP-transit,to expense for most, other then maybe a community of people could afford.

      Straight unadulterated bandwidth.

      It's completely rediculous you don't get what you expect. You'd expect to get just your packets switched and routed.
      • by Lennie (16154)
        An other idea I just had, was to get a server at a hosting company and setup a VPN to that server and use that as your internet gateway.
      • by sjames (1099)

        Actually, no. Transit is a private point to point link that doesn't route at all unless you put a router at one end. Dark fiber is even less. It is the physical layer only and you provide the hardware on the endpoints.

        ISPs are SUPPOSED to provide an unfiltered connection that routes to the rest of the net. Normally they also provide email accounts and perhaps some space on a webserver somewhere for a personal page.

        Additional filtering and such were at one time premium opt-in services and were configurab

    • Looking into it, they do have a way to opt out of this "service" -- although if you're not at least reasonably competent with making TCP/IP configuration changes on a home router, don't bother; it involves looking up and modifying IP addresses. Not a big deal to most /.ers, I'd say, but a nightmare for the general public.

      The opt-out instructions don't work, at least here in eastern Massachussetts. And there's no way to complain about it short of calling tech support and waiting on hold for 40 minutes.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Nushio (951488)
        No way to complain? How about leaving Verizon?

        I don't know how it works there (there being USA, and Verizon, specifically), but once I wanted to leave my old Internet Cable Company, they asked me to fill in a list of reasons for leaving.

        I'm sure that if enough people leave for the same reason, someone will wake up and notice. And if they don't? Well, its lost revenue.

        Money is the only language companies understand.
        • No way to complain? How about leaving Verizon?

          That would also require calling their damn support number and waiting on hold for 40 minutes.

          Further, where I live there is a Verison / Comcast duopoly on consumer / small business grade internet connectivity. Comcast sucks a bit more than Verizon does, so my basic choices are to 1.) stick with Verizon or 2.) have no usable internet connection or 3.) get a real (dedicated line) internet connection from a legitimate provider. #3 is the correct solution, but I c

          • by Nushio (951488)
            Again with the phone calls.

            You can always walk into their building. Its often a lot more effective too.
      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by rmerry72 (934528)

        The opt-out instructions don't work, at least here in eastern Massachussetts. And there's no way to complain about it short of calling tech support and waiting on hold for 40 minutes.

        I'm sure you could opt-out by cancelling your Verizon service. Since you haven't then this "service" is worth what you pay for it. See: the free market works - you get the service you want.

        • See: the free market works - you get the service you want.

          You fail. There is no way that "free market" describes any situation where a small number of companies are protected from competition by government regulation.

    • by Tarwn (458323)
      RoadRunner started doing this a few months ago in my area. Luckily they made an opt-out option very accessible as part of the search page. I'm against the whole idea of replacing non-existent domains with ISP generated content, but if they're going to do it then having a painless opt-out option should be mandatory.
  • Only mildly illegal. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by davolfman (1245316) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @06:50PM (#23130590)
    I can see doing this for nonexistant domains, but doing it for sub-domains is treading on very thin ice. When someone registers a domain they've been entitled to control over all the sub-domains and serving ads on their domain like this could very easily be argued as a major break of trademark law. It was a seriously braindead decision as suddenly it's no longer a victimless crime, and the victims may have the money to afford lawyers in this case.
    • by Effugas (2378) * on Saturday April 19, 2008 @07:08PM (#23130700) Homepage
      I think it's an accident. It's actually tricky to differentiate nonexistent subdomains vs. unregistered domains; what's on the wire is the same, it's just which name server tells you something. See www.publicsuffix.org to see how hard this problem is.

      I'm pretty optimistic that, now that the issue's been identified, everyone will stop violating trademarks.

      --Dan
      • It should actually be pretty simple I think. If there are any DNS entries for that entire second level domain you do not redirect it's sub-domains.
      • by Haeleth (414428)

        It's actually tricky to differentiate nonexistent subdomains vs. unregistered domains [...] I'm pretty optimistic that, now that the issue's been identified, everyone will stop violating trademarks.
        But even serving ads on a completely-non-existent domain might violate a trademark. For example, there is no such domain as coca-cola.museum, but I really don't think Coca-Cola would be very happy if an ISP started serving ads to anyone who tried to visit it.
      • by sjames (1099)

        It's not even slightly tricky. Given the uery foo.msn.com, a recursive server asks *.gtld-servers.net for the NS of msn.com. If that gets a positive reply, the domain exists PERIOD. In this case, you get ns1.msft.com (amongst others). Ask one of them for the NS for foo.msn.com. Again, if a positive reply, ask one of those for the IP address. If you get a negative response, give the client a negative response.

        The solution is built into the standard operation of a recursive DNS lookup. The closest this come

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jchawk (127686)
      I'm not defending ad injection or DNS redirection by any means.

      However if you are on one of these providers and they are hijacking miss typed sub domain traffic you can regain control by using a wild card DNS entry for your domain and handle this with a properly configured web server. I know Apache has supported this for some time now.

    • by crispin_bollocks (1144567) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @07:15PM (#23130744)
      It could get really touchy if they're serving targeted ads. It's one thing if I type my company's name into a Google search and get served competitors' ads, but if an existing or potential customer tries to visit my site, mustypes, and ends up with an ad for the competition, I'd go ballistic. It would seem a pretty open and shut violation of my brand name and good reputation.
      • by billcopc (196330)
        I would love to see that open and shut case take down a big ISP. There needs to be a very real threat to these unchecked profiteers. We have enough ads on the net already, typo traffic is complete bullshit!
    • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @07:16PM (#23130748)
      I can see doing this for nonexistant domains

      I can't. That's exactly what Verisign tried doing a few years ago, and got bitchslapped for because it breaks things. Not every piece of equipment that connects to the Internet and uses the Domain Name System is a Web browser, you know, and many of those systems expect a failed resolution attempt to return the proper error codes. These corporate bastards should be required to honor the basic Internet standards that exist, and which millions upon millions of networked machines depend upon for proper operation. Failure to do so should involve hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties and lost tax breaks, because their arrogance costs everyone else at least that much when they pull stunts like this.

      Bloodsucking leeches, all of them. These jerks are just asking for some heavy-handed regulation to be applied to them: if they don't want to be forced into being common carriers, they'd damn well better act responsibly. Contrary to what these idiots may think, the Internet is not a private profit-making engine built exclusively for their use. It's reached the point of being a public utility, as important to our well-being as clean water. Sure, maybe as individuals we can live without our personal Internet connection: the supply chain which provides us with vital goods and services cannot.
      • ...if they don't want to be forced into being common carriers, they'd damn well better act responsibly.


        Forced into being common carriers? They're fighting tooth and nail to keep their common carrier status. By any chance did you mean "...want to have their common carrier status removed..." because that way, it makes sense and fits with the rest of your comment. Just asking...

        • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @10:22PM (#23131934)
          Forced into being common carriers? They're fighting tooth and nail to keep their common carrier status.

          You are incorrect. That battle was fought years ago and they won it: even the Telcos, which do fall under that regulation only count as common carriers for their voice services. Data services received an exemption and are consequently not subject to the universal coverage and quality-of-service standards to which phone companies must adhere.
        • by sjames (1099)

          I suppose the right way to put it is that they want common carrier status, but don't want to actually meet the requirements. I'm not sure what they would hate more, having common carrier status removed or being forced to actually BE common carriers.

          • Back when I did tech support for an ISP, we were fighting to maintain our position as a common carrier. That meant refusing to monitor, censor or block any traffic of any kind because doing that would not only remove our common carrier status, it would open us to demands that we block everything that anybody didn't like. Now, of course, it's different; ISPs routinely block anything they feel like while claiming to be common carriers when it's to their advantage. Times have changed, and not, I fear, for t
      • The interesting thing is that, at least with my recent experience with RoadRunner cable, when they hijacked the DNS they didn't technically do anything out of spec. If you searched for an A record for an inexistent zone, it would return NXDOMAIN as the DNS RCODE. However, they also returned A records for their search pages. Firefox interpreted this as a successful resolution since A records were returned, but mail daemons typically interpreted this as a failure to resolve (which it was) since the RCODE was
      • by shmert (258705) on Sunday April 20, 2008 @01:20AM (#23132748) Homepage
        I use Earthlink as ISP and phone service (note: I would not recommend this to any sane person who doesn't enjoy long phone conversations with tech support types).

        I assumed that the error pages at least had a 404 error code, but nope, they return a 200, with their own "helpful" content.

        Look at this crap:

        [twonky:~] sbarnum% curl -v "http://zzzslashdot.org"
        * About to connect() to zzzslashdot.org port 80 (#0)
        *   Trying 209.86.66.95... connected
        * Connected to zzzslashdot.org (209.86.66.95) port 80 (#0)
        > GET / HTTP/1.1
        > User-Agent: curl/7.16.3 (powerpc-apple-darwin8.0) libcurl/7.16.3 OpenSSL/0.9.7l zlib/1.2.3
        > Host: zzzslashdot.org
        > Accept: */*
        >
        < HTTP/1.1 200 OK
        < Date: Sun, 20 Apr 2008 05:13:54 GMT
        < Server: Apache
        < Content-Length: 774
        < Connection: close
        < Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
        <
        <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
        <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
        <head>
        <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />
        <noscript>
        <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0;http://earthlink-help.com/main?AddInType=Bdns&Version=1.3.1el&FailureMode=1&ParticipantID=xj6e3468k634hy3945zg3zkhfn7zfgf6&ClientLocation=us&FailedURI=http%3A%2F%2Fzzzslashdot.org%2F"/>
        </noscript>
        <script type="text/javascript">
        window.location.replace("http://earthlink-help.com/main?AddInType=Bdns&Version=1.3.1el&FailureMode=1&ParticipantID=xj6e3468k634hy3945zg3zkhfn7zfgf6&ClientLocation=us&FailedURI=http%3A%2F%2Fzzzslashdot.org%2F");
        </script>
        </head>
        <body>
        </body>
        </html>
        * Closing connection #0
        </pre>
    • by woods01 (1259134)
      How can you say this is okay for non-existant domains? Do these isps claim ownership of the internet and dns system? Network administrators have to act responsibly knowing that once you put a network online with the rest of the internet, you do your best to cooperate with the rest of the network. Thus you don't go playing god with the dns system. I guess I can compare this to our current telephone system. Say your calling a company for help, but you mis-dial one of the numbers, everyone does it. What if co
    • by Reziac (43301) *
      One of the posted comments on the linked article mentioned that it could be construed as identity theft. Witness:

      If I go to whatever.good.com, I'm going to expect SOME aspect of good.com, not an advertisement from bad.com. But to the less web-savvy, it may look like good.com is directly affiliated with bad.com. I'm wondering if there's at least a libel suit in here somewhere. Much as I hate to encourage bringing on the lawyers, sometimes the money they can extract from such a case is the only realistic dete
  • More Data (Score:5, Informative)

    by Effugas (2378) * on Saturday April 19, 2008 @07:00PM (#23130640) Homepage
    This is Dan -- glad you're all enjoying!

    There's more data here:

    http://www.doxpara.com/DMK_Neut_toor.ppt

    And this is what I sent (many, many) affected sites:

    IOActive Security Pre-advisory: Non-Neutral Major ISP Behavior Injecting Security Vulnerabilities Into Entire Web
    Dan Kaminsky, Director of Penetration Testing, IOActive Inc.
    Jason Larsen, Senior Security Researcher, IOActive Inc.

    Executive Summary: A number of major broadband ISP's have deployed advertising servers that impersonate, via DNS, hostnames within your trademarked domain. We have determined that these injected servers are, in fact, vulnerable to Cross-Site Scripting attacks. Since these servers are being injected into your trademarked domains, their vulnerability can be used to attack your users and your sites. Due to recent activity by Network Solutions, we believe this vulnerability will be discovered shortly, and we will thus be unveiling this matter on Saturday, April 19th, at the Seattle Toorcon security conference. We believe that the security hole is reasonably straightforward to fix, either by temporarily disabling the advertising server, or by resolving the error condition that allows Cross-Site Scripting. We are contacting the affected ISP's to address at least the security issue in play. The fundamental trademark violation issue is outside our scope, however, we encourage you to pay close attention to this case, as the fundamental design of these advertising systems requires direct impersonation of your protected marks.

    Details: We would prefer to keep the names and mechanisms required for this vulnerability under wraps, at least for the next few days, while the ISP's in question manage and mitigate the security implications of this behavior. We can confirm the following attacks have been verified to work against your site, via this XSS vulnerability:

    A) Arbitrary cookie retrieval. Any web page on the Internet can retrieve all non-HTTP-only cookies from your domains.
    B) Fake site injection. A victim can be directed to "server2.www.realsite.com" or "server3.www.realsite.com", which will appear to be a host in your domain. We believe any phishing attempts from this perfect-address spoofed subdomain are more likely to be successful.
    C) Full page compromise. A victim can be directed to your actual HTTP site, with all logged in credentials, and our attack page will still be able to fully manipulate the target site as if we ourselves were the victim. Note, while we cannot attack HTTPS resources, we can prevent upgrade from HTTP to HTTPS. This may affect any shopping carts within your sites.

    We believe this behavior is illustrative of the risks of violating Network Neutrality. Indeed, it is our sense that the HTTP web becomes insecurable if man-in-the-middle attacks are monetized by providers -- if we don't know what bits are going to reach the client, how can we control for flaws in those bits?

    We do not believe the vulnerability is intentional, only the injection. We were partially involved in the discovery of the Sony Rootkit some time ago; we recognize this pattern. That case resolved itself reasonably, and we are hopeful this one can be managed well as well. If your technical, press, or legal staff has any comments on this matter, please feel free to contact us at dan.kaminsky@ioactive.com. This is a matter that strikes at the core of the viability of HTTP as a medium for business, and we are committed to defending this medium for your operations. Thank you!

    Yours Truly,

          Dan Kaminsky
          Jason Larsen
    • They're acting in malice, hoping that the non-tech-savvy public will get used to and thus accept their behavior before anyone brings up Net Neutrality legislations.

      In other words, they're striking early.

      The sheeples of the world needs to be educated about the perils of non-net neutrality (the annoying consequences, as well as the dangerous consequences) so when we demand action, they'll support us instead of being indifferent.
    • by johannesg (664142)
      There is one piece of data I'm extremely curious about. I know ads are not actually worth that much, and from personal experience, I know that I don't misspell too many URLs each day (since I mostly select them from either my bookmark list, Google, or by following links within existing sites).

      So how much money do the ISP's make from this behavior? Is it thousands of dollars each day? Or is the internet being broken for just a handful of dollars?
      • It's millions upon millions per day. It is a two cents here, one cent there. But there are many, many sites with these ad laden pages. The best part is that the operators of these sites don't pay anything for their domains. They do a 'sample' and return the domain after a few days for a full refund. Then they snag the same domain for a new sample period via another company under the same management.
        • by johannesg (664142)
          Are we talking about the same thing here? I didn't mean ads in general, I meant ads on pages where luckless surfers misspell a subdomain for some reason. Surely it cannot be millions...
          • We are talking about the same thing. Even with one hit a day there is money to be made. Say it makes a cent per page per day. Now multiply with a couple hundred million pages and you get the picture. And it doesn't cost them anything and it's fully automated. If you let your domain expire it will have an ad page on it within the day. Guaranteed.
  • fix? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pavera (320634) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @07:00PM (#23130644) Homepage Journal
    Couldn't a company "fix" this by setting up wild card dns so that any "mistyped" url will still get resolved by DNS, thus making this particular attack/injection by the ISPs impossible?

    Also, the company could display ads, or some other thing on THEIR DOMAIN, instead of letting the ISPs do this?

    Would this be horribly wrong if the companies themselves (ebay, paypal, etc) were displaying ad pages for subdomains?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Effugas (2378) *
      If the attacker (the ISP!) is willing to replace NXDOMAIN, why not replace any name that isn't www? Or any name that returns a fixed 302? The precedent must be set.
      • by pavera (320634)
        maybe I'm confused by what you mean... but if the company set up wild card DNS, they could have www, mail, mx, whateverhost, point to the appropriate IPs, but then have a wildcard that catches somenonexistanthost.domain.com (or any other host name that is not actually defined) and points it to some IP address that the company controls, maybe this is an error page, maybe it is a page with ads, maybe it just redirects to their www address... however the company wants.

        The point is, with this DNS setup, the DNS
  • Well, as much as Comcast irritates the FUCK out of me at times, at least when I typed "www.fjfjdkslsjdkflds.com" into Firefox I got a server not found response. So no redirects there (yet.)
  • by heretic108 (454817) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @07:06PM (#23130694)
    This is one of those times when copyright has a profound moral benefit.

    Any site owners who don't want ads injected into their pages can place a copyright notice in small print at the bottom of each page, saying something like:

    Copyright is hereby granted to Internet Service Providers to deliver the content of this page verbatim as served by the HTTP server hosting this website. Any alteration to the content of this page is a breach of copyright which will incur legal action.

    It would take just a few site owners to add these notices and get injunctions served against any ISPs indulging in page-tampering, for ISPs to give up on the whole deal.

    • Even better. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DaedalusHKX (660194) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @07:17PM (#23130758) Journal
      Actually, the copyright owners of said domain CAN, and SHOULD demand ALL revenues that the ISP derived off of the serving of said ad pages, and any other related income they received as a result of said copyright violations.

      I keep saying, this is like the NAFTA and WTO, they can be tools for the masses or for the masters, but so far, only the so called "masters" have used them. Peons will be peons.
    • Oops... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by DaedalusHKX (660194) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @07:21PM (#23130780) Journal
      Oops, did I forget to mention?

      By hijacking the website, ANY possible damage that is incurred by the person visiting the website, that could not have occurred from said website, can and should be used to hold the injecting ISP's liable for "fraud", "wire fraud", "internet fraud", "conspiracy to commit fraud", "electronic fraud" along with any "accessory to fraud" charges that can be used. It isn't double jeopardy if they are tried for criminal trespass to chattel, though that might take someone with more knowledge of common law copyrights than I have. So hit them for criminal charges, and then sue them for damages.

      One big ISP getting put out of business would teach the rest a pretty important lesson. "Stop fucking with Joe, he fucked back without even needing a lawyer. Joe's not very nice to assholes who impersonate him and put his customers at risk."
    • by LordLucless (582312) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @08:28PM (#23131234)
      This would accomplish absolutely nothing. They're not inserting ads into existing pages. What they're doing is returning their own pages from domains that don't exist. So, for instance, if you went to "http://www.salsdot.org/" (a non-existant domain), you would get an advert page instead of the standard error page.

      The current problem with this is that a lot of security assumptions are tied to domains. So for instance, if you run a site called "blahblah.com", and an ISP hijacks the non-existant domain "bleh.blahblah.com", certain actions that are only permissable for interactions on the same domain will suddenly become available. That is, an insecure hijacked page provide an attack vector to your own site.

      The ultimate problem with this (as the above is a fairly simple problem to fix) is that the ISP is leveraging the domain of a someone who has purchased an exclusive right to that domain. In addition, some domains are also trademarks, in which case they're violating trademark law. But at no stage are they violating copyright law, or modifying the original content, so that disclaimer you recommend wouldn't apply.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I've been getting these damn DNS redirects for some domains that do exist. Let's say that I want to open a well-known site, such as www.slashdot.org. If the DNS response times out, then I get one of those domain parking sites.

        I know I'm not mistyping the domain name, because if I wait a bit and reload the browser window, then it comes up fine.

        Frankly, this happens way more than it should. The default config Rogers left my router with apparently has the router acting as a forwarding name server. In turn it a
      • by sjames (1099)

        This would accomplish absolutely nothing. They're not inserting ads into existing pages. What they're doing is returning their own pages from domains that don't exist. So, for instance, if you went to "http://www.salsdot.org/" (a non-existant domain), you would get an advert page instead of the standard error page.

        If that was all they were doing, you'd be right. However, they will also replace 3rd level typos such as ww.redhat.com. Slashdot is a bad example because they have a wildcard DNS setup.

        In my example, they will potentially serve ads for Microsoft products on ww.redhat.com or wwww.redhat.com. THAT is a serious trademark problem as well as enabling nasty cross site scripting.

        Further, MS could argue (perhaps even successfully) that ads on www.micros0ft.com is trading on their name and reputation by creat

    • by xenocide2 (231786)
      Does this mean that an ISP that strips virus's from websites can be stopped by copyright?
      • by sjames (1099)

        Does this mean that an ISP that strips virus's from websites can be stopped by copyright?

        Potentially yes. However, the site owner would have to admit in court that it was serving up viruses. Given the legal problems connected with that, they would be more likely to stay as far from court as they possably could.

        To be safe, the ISP should just serve a page indicating clearly that it is not the requested site or in any way affiliated with it and why it came up rather than the requested content.

    • by jschottm (317343)
      IANAL.

      What you're describing is a contract, and contracts have certain qualifications that they must meet in order to be valid. It must be an agreement entered into between two parties and computer software can't operate as a party that can enter into and accept a contract. For example, I can't add Displaying this page in a web browser means you owe me a dollar to this comment, because you have not agreed to it. I can make a website that has a payment system and restricts access to certain pages until yo
  • Can easily be fixed if you run a local DNSMasq server (i.e. DD-WRT, OpenWRT) http://lists.thekelleys.org.uk/pipermail/dnsmasq-discuss/2006q4/000920.html [thekelleys.org.uk]
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The end result of this lameness is that we're all going to switch to SSL for everything. Unless the ISPs are ready to roll with IPv6, traffic hijacking is self defeating.

    Even our error pages validate as xhtml strict when they leave our servers. Any ISP injecting ads is fucking with our reputation and distributing an unauthorized derivative work. Oh, and the ad revenue is ours too!

  • to switch to opendns [opendns.com]. (I'm an Earthlink subscriber; I pay them a monthly fee, I don't think they should be cashing in on my type-o's).
    • But U don't want or need to have anything blocked or filtered.
    • by Nullav (1053766) <moc@liamg.val l u N> on Saturday April 19, 2008 @08:06PM (#23131078)
      You realize OpenDNS also throws up ads when you mistype a URL, right? That includes subdomains, by the way.
      • by Giometrix (932993)
        "You realize OpenDNS also throws up ads when you mistype a URL, right? That includes subdomains, by the way."

        No, I didn't realize that (haven't tried it yet). Thanks for the heads up (though I still might switch because of the anti-phishing features).
      • Okay, OpenDNS does not sound better...
    • by Anonymous Coward
      It may be a convenient service, but it causes the same problems as other DNS based "ads on unused domains" schemes, plus at least one other major problem that the other systems don't have: OpenDNS hijacks www.google.com and redirects it through an OpenDNS server. That's right, if you use OpenDNS, you're not talking to www.google.com.

      OpenDNS endorsements/ads are entirely misplaced in a discussion about correct DNS use.
      • Not that deceptive practices are at all a good thing for software/services, however by doing that isn't OpenDNS indirectly providing users with automatic anonymounization of my queries? OpenDNS would have them I suppose, but splitting up who has what data makes each subset more useless.
        • by Mathinker (909784)
          > isn't OpenDNS indirectly providing users with automatic anonymounization of my queries?

          I suppose you meant "isn't OpenDNS indirectly providing users with automatic anonymization of their queries?"

          Well, to some extent yes, but probably not for most, since most users will either have an identifying google.com cookie or be logged into Gmail or other Google services.
  • Is the ad injection simply a function of DNS? That seems to be all the more reason to *not* use your ISPs name servers. I don't use mine, that's for sure.

    I happen to work for an ISP, not one I can use from home. I use the DNS servers at work from my crapy cable connection. I also encrypt most of my traffic, even harmless web browsing. I just don't trust my crappy cable company. That's fine for me, but not fine for someone who doesn't work for an ISP.

    I know you're not supposed to run your own na

  • I want to see a list of these ISP's maintained so consumers can stay informed (to stay away from them I mean).
  • You'd think being news for nerds, we could at least get "QWEST" down. That's pretty frigging sad.

    Maybe the next headline can be "In other news today Sysco just launched a new core router".
  • I actually "alerted" IXWebhosting that their service had been compromised as one of my sites returned an information.com page instead of an error page. They stated this was part of their "service" and I should read the TOS. I'm packing my bags as we speak.
  • I use wildcard dns to resolve all .COM domains that are pointed to my name servers; similar to how parking companies do it. A common side effect of various wildcard configs is that all subdomains are resolved too.

    It's poor form, but saves me the hassle of always having update my zone files when I add more domains - this way they resolve immediately.

    I originally sought to limit the subdomain resolving functionality, but after reading about many ISPs resolving sub-domains of domains they don't control, I'm gl
  • I decided to use OpenDNS to get around the Verizon DNS redirects (they even redirected my own domain!). The redirects were very poorly implemented, often times just replacing image sources, other times redirecting entire domains, never consistantly, I found it difficult to do normal web browsing in many cases.

    To make matter worse, I decided to set the DNS in my ActionTec router they provided (despite the fact I specifically asked for a dumb bridge ahead of time) to OpenDNS, turns out the ActionTec's are ri [speedguide.net]
  • How hard is it to run a caching DNS server on your firewall? Do none of the replacement firewall-router distros include a copy of BIND? I don't think I've ever used the ISP's name service at my house.

    I can see "Uncle Elmer" users doing that, but surely anyone who's fetching debian ISOs has their own BIND cache.
  • dnsmasq [thekelleys.org.uk] claims to be able to convert these bogus A records back to NXDOMAIN errors, at least for a single IP address (see the --bogus-nxdomain option.)

    Alternatively, it couldn't be that hard to a resolv.conf option to something similar, could it?

  • 1. Entice ISPs to create adpages on your domain by putting out a crappy website with tonsa broken links. Further, be sure to run it on IIS 1.0.
    2. Sue when you get hacked.
    3. ...
    4. Profit!

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