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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger Lugh's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Is Verizon resurrecting old Verisign 404 scam?

    In 2003 VeriSign tried a scam whereby they captured all traffic from non-existing domains--eg you make a typo in browser address bar. It was called SiteFinder, and caused a major outcry, culminating in ICANN forcing them to shut it down. Example article:
    VeriSign Shuts Down Site Finder
    http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news...ite+Finder.htm

    Just now I got a Verizon [my ISP] redirect page when a domain I typed didn't exist. Verizon has a similar 'explanation' page to VeriSign's old one:
    http://searchassist.verizon.com/ [click "What is this page" top-right]

    Yahoo is also involved "Search results provided by Yahoo!", looks like a set of high-value links.

    Any of you Verizon subscribers see the same thing if you type a gibberish domain?
    Has this been going on for a while?
    Any other ISPs at it?

    Maybe some court made this kind of hijack legal in the interim, but I'd expect to have heard a similar outcry if so.
    Last edited by Lugh; 2015-01-26 at 14:59. Reason: add last para

  2. #2
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    yep

    they intercept bad domains and send you to yahoo to search
    andor other error pages of their own

    i just kill it asap
    and retype the domain correctly

    happened for years since we got fios

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Feury View Post
    Maybe some court made this kind of hijack legal in the interim, but I'd expect to have heard a similar outcry if so.
    Isn't the difference that they provide opt-out instructions? Not as easy as unchecking a box, but you only have to do it once.

  4. #4
    5 Star Lounger Lugh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    Isn't the difference that they provide opt-out instructions?
    You're probably right Bruce, I don't recall any opt-out from VeriSign back then.

    Still a scam though, very few surfers will have any clue re what's going on--or won't care, since it can seem helpful on the surface.

    Maybe you get to do this if your company name starts with 'Veri'? Veri dodgy.

  5. #5
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    I don't believe this is that uncommon anymore, and we're probably going to see a lot more ISPs going this way as they try to monetize every aspect of the customer.

    I think they can only do that, however, if you are using Verizon's DNS servers. That would be the default for most Verizon customers, but you should be able to change the DNS servers you use, either in your router or in each computer. Here are a couple links that may help with the background:

    Personally, I've configured my router to use Level 3's servers, though OpenDNS is an attractive option if you want some spam filtering.

    BTW, GRC also has a nice little DNS benchmark utility that will recommend the fastest IPs to use.

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