In the U.S. or U.K. and Know how to use Firebug? I need YOUR help [UPDATED]

Edit: removed all ads from geeks are sexy until the ad company resolves the issue. If you’re still getting problems, be sure to let me know.

Edit 2: Yep, it fixed the issue. I’ll Keep them off until I can resolve this. In the meantime, if you want to help, you can always do your holiday shopping @ through this link! ;)

Dear readers,

Starting 2 or 3 days ago, an ad on Geeks are Sexy has started redirecting a very small percentage (less than 1%) of U.S. and U.K. users to another site that tries to sell a fake virus scanner to people. The reason I need help is that, being in Canada, I cannot replicate the issue, and my ad network, which is in the US, can’t either since they can’t track the ad. So if you’ve gotten one of those redirect, or if you get it again, I’d need a “firebug” report about what happened. I know it’s lot to ask from you guys, but I’ll send a free t-shirt to the person who can help me track this. I’m kind of desperate right now because this site is how I make a living, and if remove my ads, my revenue drops to almost 0. Needless to say that with 3 kids, that’s kind of a bad idea right now.

Please note that this firebug report will only be valid if you get the redirect.

Please send your report along with any details (screenshots, etc…) you can offer to: [email protected]

Thank you for your help!



28 Responses to In the U.S. or U.K. and Know how to use Firebug? I need YOUR help [UPDATED]

  1. Just a clarifying question:
    Is the ad automatically redirecting visitor or another (unrelated) site – thus preventing you from collecting revenue from the other ads loading?
    I will see if I can replicate a redirect.

    • Ads are what keep sites like this running and worth it to the owner/designers to continue creating new content for users.

      Blocking ads on a site you like to use and have respect for is kind of a slap in the face to the people who work hard to give you free content and info. Especially on a site that could be viewed as a small business, like GaS. I get it if you use it for Facebook, MySpace, etc, but if everyone used adblocker all the time a lot of places on the internet would lose revenue, and possibly shut down, including places like GaS – places you like.

      If it weren't bringing in some sort of revenue, they wouldn't be trying to fix it, and instead would permanently pull all ads from the site.

  2. Run through a proxy thats based in the US, collect firebug logs. problemsolved.

    Also, you really should have some log metrics setup to track all of the ad's across all the servers you have. Don;t you want to know what your users are being shown ad wise?! :)

  3. There's a 99.9% chance that their browser cache and/or local DNS cache is to blame. It's a common type of exploit and makes the regular rounds. The chances of it being due to an ad you are serving are very miniscule (in that such a cause would be nearly unheard of). When it originates from a website it is usually because of a PHP or .htaccess hack, not because of an ad rotation.

    • In the past I made an web app that required secure connections so that cross-browser scripting between could be performed between two different domains. For the test environment to work you had to modify the hosts file to mock IE6 to believe that the test server was the production one. You can't believe how many hijacked hosts files I encountered in that enterprise environment.

  4. Now that you have removed your adds and have slashed your income, is there a way that we can make a donation to GAS to help you through?

  5. Could you enable the ads on a given page? I'm more than willing to test using my remote server (I'm canadian too, but the server has a US ip), Plus I know how to use firebug.

  6. Pretend that some of us are Geeky in some areas more than others… what is a Firebug Report, and how do I get set up to help out? I’m in the US, was hit by the incident you described: AVG (Free) caught some of it, but I closed everything up and rebooted just to flush out what I could.

    PS: I love the work you’ve been doing here, keep it up. I came over after I hit BS political stuff at IO9 and swore them off.

  7. I did what I could, although without using Firebug (unfamiliar with that plugin, and believe-it-or-not, I still use IE for most of my casual surfing). The info I was forwarding was culled from Symantec Endpoint Protection alert messages. Hope it was of some use, and that the brief dip in ad revenue on your site hasn't wonked-up your budget for the month. :)

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