“Robert Silvie returned to his parents’ home for a Mardi Gras visit this year and immediately noticed something strange: common websites like those belonging to Apple, Walmart, Target, Bing, and eBay were displaying unusual ads,” Nate Anderson reports for Ars Technica.
“Silvie knew that Bing, for instance, didn’t run commodity banner ads along the bottom of its pristine home page — and yet, there they were,” Anderson reports. “Somewhere between Silvie’s computer and the Bing servers, something was injecting ads into the data passing through the tubes. Were his parents suffering from some kind of ad-serving malware infection? And if so, what else might the malware be watching—or stealing?”
Anderson reports, “Around the same time, computer science PhD student Zack Henkel also returned to his parents’ home for a spring break visit. After several hours of traveling, Henkel settled in with his computer to look up the specs for a Mac mini before bedtime. And then he saw the ads [on Apple.com]… Neither Silvie and Henkel were going to let a mystery like this go without solving it. Each embarked on a separate investigation and each came to the same conclusion: their parents’ Internet provider was somehow involved in slapping ads onto webpages as they moved over the network.”
Read more in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “David G.” for the heads up.]