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  1. #1
    Bronze Lounger
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    Searches I didn't perform showing up in Firefox History

    I just used History in Firefox 27 to find a web site I'd used earlier. It was there, but there were also dozens of entries for a site I'd never visited (thefreedictionary.com) looking up all sorts of medical terminology.

    Anyone have any idea what's happening and what I should do next?

    Thanks,
    Linda

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger RussB's Avatar
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    To your "Hosts" file add this line:
    127.0.0.1 thefreedictionary.com
    Do you "Believe"? Do you vote? Please Read:
    LEARN something today so you can TEACH something tomorrow.
    DETAIL in your question promotes DETAIL in my answer.
    Dominus Vobiscum <))>(

  3. #3
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    As an added measure, I would recommend registering and opening a thread in the HijackThis logs help section of http://forum.webuser.co.uk/ to have your computer checked over as this forum doesn't seem to have a specialist security section.

  4. #4
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    Don't overlook the obvious: Who else uses your computer? (Or could, when you're not there.)

    Bruce

  5. #5
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    Thanks everyone.

    First, BruceR, no one but me uses the computer. We're in a home office and my husband uses his laptop only (but good suggestion!).

    I'm sorry but I don't understand what RussB has told me to do: what is my Hosts file?

    Also, in reading HijackThis rules pre-posting, since I'm self employed, I apparently can't post there.

    Has someone or something hijacked my PC? A couple of days ago, I also found an FTP user with main root access in my list of FTP users (I deleted the name after calling my host to find out what I should do).

    The .uk makes me wonder if it has anything to do with the site work we've been doing recently with a UK developer I found through WordPress (he himself seems above reproach).

    This is a first for me so I'm quite confused.

    Linda

  6. #6
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    It is Firefox's history, not Google's that you're looking at, Linda? If it's Google's and you're not logged in to Gmail, Youtube, etc, then you'd see history from the IP address that you connected from.

  7. #7
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    Yes, it's History in Firefox.

  8. #8
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Linda: Do you have wifi enabled on your router? If so, it's possible that someone close by is tapping into your router via the wifi. You can check your router activity logs to see if this is true.

    If you don't need wifi, I would suggest turning it off until you need it.

    This may not be the source of the unexplained activity; but if it is, then hopefully your problem is solved.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    From the Firefox Library window > History > This Month > then up to Views > Show columns > Visit date - now can you see any pattern, like a specific period when you were not in front of the computer yet new sites were visited?

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    @IreneLinda - Your History in Firefox is stored within hidden folders in your Windows profile on your PC, i.e. C:\Users\<your logon name>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles.

    As a result, there isn't normally a way of having someone else's searches show up in the Firefox History on your PC unless a) you're using a shared logon to Windows on the same PC or b) someone else is using your logon ID (and any password) on the same PC.

    The only way I know that this is otherwise possible is if you have Firefox Sync setup and enabled then allow others to use Firefox from your mobile. If so then, yes it IS possible, for someone else's searches from your mobile to appear in Firefox's History on your PC.

    Hope this helps...
    Last edited by Rick Corbett; 2014-02-28 at 19:32.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    If so, it's possible that someone close by is tapping into your router via the wifi. You can check your router activity logs to see if this is true.
    Sorry but this just isn't possible and I wouldn't want the OP to be worried unnecessarily.

    Actually, to clarify, whilst it IS possible of course for someone to piggyback onto an unsecured wifi connection (so let's hope the OP is using WPA2 as her wifi security mode), it ISN'T possible for a wifi piggybacker using Firefox on their own device to have their searches appear in Firefox History stored in the OP's profile on the OP's PC.

    Here in the UK I've used/worked on countless numbers of Linksys, Netgear, Dlink and Belkin home routers (plus a couple of Edimax and Zyxel) over the last 25-30 years and I can't remember once running into logging being enabled by default on a router. Both incoming and outgoing logs have always been disabled, presumably due to the performance hit (and the tiny amount of available RAM on these devices). This default state may, of course, be different for home routers purchased in the United States but I doubt it.... they're just too underpowered.

  12. #12
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    Wow, lots of information. I've been staring at this screen all day so will wait until tomorrow when it should all make better sense. Thank all of you for trying to help.

    I liked the wifi suggestion, but it sounds as if it isn't a possibility. Ah well.

    Back to you once I've checked out everyone's suggestion.

    Thanks, Linda

  13. #13
    WS Lounge VIP Browni's Avatar
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    One more to add, what addons do you have in Firefox?

    Possibly there is a dictionary in there that is doing on-the-fly lookups for definitions.

    Tools->Add-ons will show you (or crtl-shift-a if the toolbar is not normally visible)

  14. #14
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    Yikes! Just got columns set up to see dates...and this has been going on for years - thefreedictionary has entries back to 2011!!!! I just hadn't noticed. What does this mean?

    Answers to some suggestions:
    - no dictionary add-on in Firefox
    - have not set up Firefox sync
    - no one else has ever been on this computer since 2011
    - all the terms being looked up are medical or scientific, no words that I've ever looked up myself

    This sure seems weird. It seems no one else's searches can show up in my History unless they're being searched from this PC or sync, but neither of those is true.

    No viruses or issues have ever shown up in Secunia PSI, Malware Bytes, Microsoft Security Essentials.

    Any further thoughts? I sure am stumped. Should I check History in the other browsers I use infrequently (Chrome and IE)?

  15. #15
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Ah, could it be Firefox's own spellchecker function that's causing this? https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb...+spell+checker

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