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rudnicke
Premium
join:2004-10-23
Rantoul, IL
kudos:4

[IL] WTF? Popups from MediaCom????

So I open my browser this afternoon, and on top of the Google page is an add for a cell phone plan. It has two buttons, one of them said Opt Out. I clicked it thinking it was just another Google ad. Low and behold, it took me to a MediaCom page stating that I had opted out of future advertisements.

Is MC running that new deep packet inspection hardware that pushed behaviour based ads?

If so, I'm dropping them like a lead balloon.
--
One Big Ass Mistake America


burner50
Proud Union THUG
Premium
join:2002-06-05
Fort Worth, TX
kudos:1
This is VERY interesting...

I'm not on a Mediacom Connection ATM, but given the amount of ads on their "helper" page that they were redirecting hijacked DNS queries to, It really wouldn't surprise me.
--
I'm tired of killing stupid people just trying to do my job and go home!

Turbocpe
Premium
join:2001-12-22
IA
reply to rudnicke
I'd said it's very disturbing if that's the case. I have not seen this on my Mediacom connection.

I just went to that general preference page (the one that is broken; where you suppose to be able to opt out of the redirects and typos) and it did not have any additional options or changes to reflect what you've described. Unless it's accessed via a different link? But then again, I've not seen what you're describing.
Expand your moderator at work

ekztal

join:2011-02-24

1 edit
reply to rudnicke

Re: [IL] WTF? Popups from MediaCom????

I came to this site to complain about this exact problem. At first I thought Google had placed an ad on their website for their Google Voice Service.

If you click the ad you get taken to:

http://www.getmediacomtoday.com/phoneup.html

If you click either No Thanks or Opt out you get taken to:

http://97.64.255.1:8080/cgi-bin/ack
http://97.64.255.1:8080/cgi-bin/optout

I even took a screencap: »i.imgur.com/6490O.png

It looks like it adds some scripts to add the banner and all that:

<noscript><meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0;URL=http://97.64.255.1:8080/cgi-bin/noscript.pl?policy=14&category=Marketing+Messages&"></noscript>
 

<script type="text/javascript">var version=2; var webServer="http://97.64.255.1:8080";</script>
 

<noscript><frameset><frame src="http://97.64.255.1:8080/cgi-bin/noscript.pl?policy=14&category=Marketing+Messages&"></frameset></noscript>
 

http://97.64.255.1:8080/bg/PhoneUp.2.11/index.js
http://97.64.255.1:8080/bg/manager.js
http://97.64.255.1:8080/bg/bulletin.js

Is it even legal to inject your own code into other people's websites?

mnt

join:2004-10-03
Baldwin, AL

2 edits

1 recommendation

reply to rudnicke
This is outrageous. I saw this for the first time today when visiting apple.com

»cl.ly/2V1P461s3y1A113k1P3D

Mediacom injecting their own advertising into my web browser is way, way, way over the line. As I understand it, I pay Mediacom to deliver internet service to my home. If Mediacom begins using that paid service for their own financial benefit, I think a significant reduction in my monthly bill is in order. As it stands, this is like the equivalent of Mediacom inserting their own ads onto HBO and Showtime.

The fact that I've had to opt-out of Mediacom's 404 hijacking over, and over, and over again makes me feel particularly sick about this latest trick.

jg0

join:2010-07-21
Dubuque, IA
reply to Turbocpe
I got this same exact ad today. I am using OpenDNS and very disappointed. If Qwest was more than 1.5 Mbps at my location I would be placing an order.


rudnicke
Premium
join:2004-10-23
Rantoul, IL
kudos:4
reply to mnt
Whew!!! I'm not crazy!!!

That is the exact same ad I saw pop up on Google.
--
One Big Ass Mistake America

cemig

join:2007-01-17
Spring Valley, MN
reply to rudnicke
Any network hardware designed to inject Javascript into third-party web pages is a colossally stupid idea for an ISP. Just think of what will happen when (not if) someone hacks into the injection server and adds a bulletin containing malicious code. Is Mediacom really ready to handle the backlash from their entire subscriber base becoming infected by a marketing gimmick? There are plenty of spammers out there that would love to be able to infect an entire ISP at a time.

Turbocpe
Premium
join:2001-12-22
IA
said by cemig:

Any network hardware designed to inject Javascript into third-party web pages is a colossally stupid idea for an ISP. Just think of what will happen when (not if) someone hacks into the injection server and adds a bulletin containing malicious code. Is Mediacom really ready to handle the backlash from their entire subscriber base becoming infected by a marketing gimmick? There are plenty of spammers out there that would love to be able to infect an entire ISP at a time.

Excellent point. Mediacom's history has shown they've had some issues with "technology" (i.e., DNS, Opt Out of Typos and Redirects, etc.,) so doubts about Mediacom's ability to be trusted with something like this would appear to be valid.


danawhitaker
Space...The Final Frontier
Premium
join:2002-03-02
Urbandale, IA
reply to rudnicke
Hmm. I'm not disbelieving, but I haven't seen this. Just to be sure that it wasn't adblocking that was interfering (I use Chrome with Adblocker and Flashblock) I tried Internet Explorer, which I never use, and doesn't use any adblocking. I didn't see anything on Google or Apple. What can I do to replicate this problem?
--
You're watching Sports Night on CSC so stick around...

cemig

join:2007-01-17
Spring Valley, MN
The hardware behind this appears to be the PerfTech bulletin system. If you're not on a network selected to get the bulletin, you won't get it.
Let's hope that Mediacom is just test driving the hardware before buying. Enough customer backlash might kill the deal.

Turbocpe
Premium
join:2001-12-22
IA
reply to danawhitaker
said by danawhitaker:

Hmm. I'm not disbelieving, but I haven't seen this. Just to be sure that it wasn't adblocking that was interfering (I use Chrome with Adblocker and Flashblock) I tried Internet Explorer, which I never use, and doesn't use any adblocking. I didn't see anything on Google or Apple. What can I do to replicate this problem?

I'm not seeing this myself and I checked the source page to see if it was simply being blocked.

It would appear it may be testing the waters per market.

mnt

join:2004-10-03
Baldwin, AL
reply to jg0
My options are 1.5 Mbps DSL or Mediacom, too. I've lived through years of slow speeds, frequent disconnects, and terrible customer service. But this is the first thing that's got me considering giving up on Mediacom completely and going back to DSL. Once they start futzing with the content I choose to download, I've lost all trust for an ISP.

ekztal

join:2011-02-24
reply to Turbocpe
said by Turbocpe:

said by cemig:

Any network hardware designed to inject Javascript into third-party web pages is a colossally stupid idea for an ISP. Just think of what will happen when (not if) someone hacks into the injection server and adds a bulletin containing malicious code. Is Mediacom really ready to handle the backlash from their entire subscriber base becoming infected by a marketing gimmick? There are plenty of spammers out there that would love to be able to infect an entire ISP at a time.

Excellent point. Mediacom's history has shown they've had some issues with "technology" (i.e., DNS, Opt Out of Typos and Redirects, etc.,) so doubts about Mediacom's ability to be trusted with something like this would appear to be valid.

I saw this ad with Adblock Plus on Firefox.


beachintech
There's sand in my tool bag
Premium
join:2008-01-06
kudos:5
reply to rudnicke
If I were you, I would be switching ISP's....

mnt

join:2004-10-03
Baldwin, AL
reply to rudnicke
The silence from Mediacom on this issue is telling.

k9iua6

join:2004-05-23
Dubuque, IA
kudos:1
reply to rudnicke
Okay, this thread still has me confused. I only use Firefox at home, which has AdBlock Plus installed, so don't see most adverts, and haven't for years, and so am unused to who many web sites are providing ads these days. So reading this thread, I can't tell what is happening...

These Mediacom ads are coming up when you go to Google? How do you know this isn't Google inserting these ads based on their ability to see what network you are on? It sounds like Google doing just what Google does with providing advertising. Otherwise how do you know it is Mediacom modifying the webpage coming to you? And for the other person who mentioned AdBlock - is AdBlock not stopping these advertisements, or are you saying that you see them being trapped by AdBlock?

cemig

join:2007-01-17
Spring Valley, MN
It doesn't matter what browser you are using. This technology works by intercepting a web page and inserting it's own little bit of javascript into the HTML. Unless you have an AdBlock rule in place for the server pointed to by the javascript, it will get through.

We know that this is being done by Mediacom because the javascript is being served from a Mediacom IP address (97.64.255.1 resolves to 97-64-255-1.client.mchsi.com, what seems to be a dynamic IP). We also know that it has appeared over apple.com (for mnt) in addition to a Google page for others.

The system in place to send these ads appears to be this: »www.perftech.com/bulletin_system.html
I base this on the comments I read in the javascript files referenced by ekztal.

Nothing short of NoScript would be able to reliably block this sort of ISP tampering with the HTML.

k9iua6

join:2004-05-23
Dubuque, IA
kudos:1
Okay, thank you, Cemig, for providing the first post in this thread with enough explanation and clarity for me (and I presume others) to understand what is happening.

Since it seems to me that no FCC or other Federal regulatory agency prevents this from happening, we can complain, but in the end we won't be able to avoid this happening, regardless of what ISP we run to. it is indeed sad. As long as the internet is a commercial enterprise, this stuff is likely to happen, unfortunately, to try to wrestle income from someone or other how ever they can get it.

I do have NoScript running on one my oldest, slowest computers just so it can be usable. Unfortunately too many websites now unnecessarily rely on Javascript and other codes just to provide information, which in itself, in my opinion, is killing the useful of the internet for its bloat in web page size and slowness.


zalternate

join:2007-02-22
freedom land

1 edit
reply to rudnicke
Rogers Internet in Canada is doing a similar thing(haven't checked in a while on postings).
People were blocking the 'HACKED Data Stream' Adverts's IP address(static), via the Windows host file(or similar).
Rogers was also inserting system notices in the white space of the Google search page, and it is possible to replace a "webpage's Ad's" with Rogers inserted Ad's, for Rogers Profit. And the user will hardly notice the hacking.

Unfortunately DPI can be used(illegal wiretapping, which is not properly defined for "Internet") to harvest data streams to insert targeted Ad's, and Privacy laws on DPI HACKING are still a couple of years away.

If the opt-out is via a 'cookie', well when you delete cookies, you have to opt out again next time.

--
Consumer Rights is more than just a suggestion.

Sengfeng

join:2006-10-16
Moline, IL
reply to rudnicke
I started getting these today. If I have to go out of my way to avoid this BS in my browser, I >will dump Mediacom. Constant price increases, pi$$ poor quality of service (2MB speeds with no end in sight). I get better service off my cell phone by tethering. The only thing that stops me from doing that is needing to keep it on a charger 100% of the time to browse with it.


MediacomChad
Mediacom Social Media Relations Team
Premium,VIP
join:2010-01-20
Gulf Breeze, FL
kudos:118
reply to rudnicke
I have very limited information on this but it is something we are going to track. If you are seeing this can you please PM me your Telephone# or Account# and what you are seeing? Also, if you try to opt out and it doesn't work please let me know.

mnt

join:2004-10-03
Baldwin, AL
Thanks for looking into it, Chad.

In related news, I just had to opt out of Mediacom's "redirect service" again tonight.


Brutus1

@mchsi.com
reply to MediacomChad
Will our monthly cable bill fee be reduced with this extra income mediacom's generating by placing ads on our already paid for service??

said by MediacomChad:

I have very limited information on this but it is something we are going to track. If you are seeing this can you please PM me your Telephone# or Account# and what you are seeing? Also, if you try to opt out and it doesn't work please let me know.


ekztal

join:2011-02-24
reply to MediacomChad
said by MediacomChad:

I have very limited information on this but it is something we are going to track. If you are seeing this can you please PM me your Telephone# or Account# and what you are seeing? Also, if you try to opt out and it doesn't work please let me know.

Should all these 3rd party sites Mediacom is filling with ads have to opt-in to such an agreement in the first place?

jglow

join:2011-02-26
Springfield, MO
reply to rudnicke
Just as a heads up, I also started a thread about this on the Mediacom Forum here:

»mediacomcable.com/CustomerSuppor···c=1258.0


UpsetInChi

@mchsi.com
reply to MediacomChad
I'm in the Chicago suburbs and started getting these a couple of days ago as well. For me, the ad does not appear every time you open IE - perhaps once every ten times I open IE. Given the bad grammar in the ad, it initially made me think that I'd somehow picked up some sort of spyware. Then, I went and checked that my business' web site (which is my homepage) had not been compromised and changed. Then, I went to see if the homepage setting in IE had been changed. When I finally captured the HTML of what was being displayed and saw an IP address of 97.64.255.1 that resolved back to Mediacom itself and these postings, everything became clearer - at least it's not just my PC being infected. However, if Mediacom is doing this on purpose this is such a bad idea that I cannot even fathom how someone could believe this wasn’t going to create an uproar and massive customer confusion. If this is the case, a number of people need to be fired. Today.

However, is it possible that some part of Mediacom's network infrastructure has instead been compromised to serve these ads up and there's something else going on that isn't apparent? Even though the link in the ad (which never seems to change) seems to go to a Mediacom web site for phone service, given that the ad has incorrect grammar and there's no verbiage to indicate that this is a "legitimate" (albeit stupidly conceived) ad, I'm really wondering if some part of their infrastructure has been compromised. I await hearing where this all ultimately leads.

And given that I spent a couple of hours tracking all of this down, what is Mediacom going to do to make customers whole for their aggravation and time? I just talked to tech support and they wouldn’t give me anything for my troubles but seem to now be aware of the problem at least. Unbelievable.

ps2roy

join:2002-03-03
Columbus, GA
reply to rudnicke
I just got the Mediacom pop-up ad last night. :-(


beachintech
There's sand in my tool bag
Premium
join:2008-01-06
kudos:5
reply to MediacomChad
said by MediacomChad:

I have very limited information on this but it is something we are going to track. If you are seeing this can you please PM me your Telephone# or Account# and what you are seeing? Also, if you try to opt out and it doesn't work please let me know.

I'd suggest contacting someone in Mediacom that knows exactly what you are all are doing, why, and how, before you comment too much on this.

This is a great way to send the proverbial brown stuff into the spinning blades for your company very very fast.

I will absolutely be moving everyone in town that I have contact with that uses Mediacom as an ISP to other providers if this practice continues.
--
Retired Tech at the Beach.
I speak for myself, not my former employer.