Msg#: 3792804 posted 7:25 am on Nov 24, 2008 (gmt 0)
Recently I checked my weblogs I see a huge traffic being drawn towards my website by the FunWebProducts Mozilla User Agent. Earlier I use to consume 5GB bandwidth, but now it is increased to 9GB and I can see these traffic is because of FunWebProducts UserAgent.
Msg#: 3792804 posted 2:45 pm on Nov 24, 2008 (gmt 0)
It appears that FunWebProducts installs adware / spyware (not quite malware) with the installation of any of its suite of "free" products [tnet.com].
This background-installation inserts a "free" toolbar; the user does not appear to have the option [networkworld.com] of declinding installation. This toolbar seems to contain an apparently hidden copying utility which sends IP addresses, HTML coding, and other information to some third location [spywareinfoforum.com]. Users do not seem to be aware of this hidden activity (other than perhaps to wonder why browsing is now slower [notoverthehill.com], etc).
On the server side, thiis added bandwidth drain is viewed by some as being sufficiently bad as to rate as being a DDoS attack [markusallen.blogspot.com].
Naturally, the bandwidth expenses and domain slow-downs will vary from server to server, and only the webmaster can determine how much is "too much" for him. Not all may view this issue as being a "problem".
Msg#: 3792804 posted 3:13 pm on Nov 24, 2008 (gmt 0)
It "spies" on the users who have it installed in their browser, and sends information about their browsing back to another place, using that information for selling ads. It also has functions that may suggest destinations to the user when they search, sort of like paid ads. Maybe techethos' site is being suggested to these visitors. Techethos may eventually be approached by FunWebProducts or one of its affiliates regarding buying ads on the network, now that the ability of the product to steer traffic has been proven.
Those users may have decided to go to techethos' web site on their own or as a result of the suggestion. The "spying" has to do with reporting on the users' behavior. I'm still not sure why this is a problem for Techethos. Isn't more traffic a good thing, if it's real people with an interest in the site's topic?