Feeds

Verizon hijacks your browser

Makes like VeriSign

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Verizon is shamelessly hijacking web browsers on its new fiber-optic internet service.

With posts to the online forums at BroadbandReports and WebmasterWorld, FIOS subscribers claim that when they carelessly mistype web addresses, Verizon redirects their browsers to its very own ad-driven search pages.

As reported by ConsumerAffairs.com, Verizon previously announced that this "service" would hit the American Midwest in June, but according to subscribers in Virginia and Maryland, it has now reached the East Coast as well.

Verizon calls this hijacking routine "Advanced Web Search":

"Verizon Online will begin the trial of a new Advanced Web Search service designed to reduce the amount of dead-end, 'no file exists' or similar error messages you see and to help you quickly find the destination web site you were seeking. If you type a nonexistent or unavailable URL (e.g., www.verizon.cmo), or enter a search term, into your browser address bar, Verizon may present you with an Advanced Web Search page containing suggested links based upon the query you entered."

This is hardly a new idea. We've seen the same trick from other ISPs, including Charter, Cox, and Earthlink. Meanwhile, top-level domain operator VeriSign tried it on an even bigger scale back in 2003, before ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) told it to cease and desist.

When we phoned Verizon to find out just how many browsers are being hijacked, a spokesman told he'd "get back to us", but he's yet to do so. It seems that Verizon does allow users to a opt-out of the, um, service. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.