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AdSense Resusitation
Has your adsense been 'Hijacked'?

 1:54 pm on Nov 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Over recent weeks, none of the four browsers (IE6, N7.1,Op,Moz1.4) installed on my system have been showing the AdSense ads, just a blank space. Today, I discovered why. If you're having problem seeing adsense ads on your pages read on...

A browser hijack script had taken the url of my homepage (my own site) in each browser and attached a url of its own (<snip> banner) to pop up in a window whenever I opened my site in Mozilla or Netscape. Also, intentionally or otherwise, it prevented AdSense ads from displaying.

Mcafee Virus Scan hadn't found anything and neither AdAware 6 or Spybot S&D picked up and problems either.
The solution was a program called - HijackThis.

Check the contents of this file:
c:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts (no extension)
If there's more than one line (localhost), chances are that will be your problem.

If you're having this problem, run the HijackThis program and look for suspicious entries labelled R0, N3, 01. I 'fixed' all of these entries, rebooted and now the problems have gone and AdSense is showing again! >:o))

[edited by: Jenstar at 1:59 pm (utc) on Nov. 8, 2003]
[edit reason] No URLs please! [/edit]



 4:24 pm on Nov 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Note that the hosts has legit reasons to have more than one line in it. Basicially it allows users to hard code dns for the machine.

Speaking of which, Spybot allows you to lock the hosts file so that nothing can modify it. Same goes for your internet settings in ie.


 6:09 pm on Nov 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Is this detectable through a util like BHODemon?


 6:17 pm on Nov 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Don't have a windows host file ...


 12:12 am on Nov 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Apologies for the URL post.

Unfortunately I'm not big on software, so I'm not entirely sure of the technical details - Certainly fixed the problem I had though. Could be useful info for somebody...

Michael Coley

 2:18 am on Nov 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

The location of the hosts file varies depending on the version of Windows. Also, some parasite-ware changes the default location.

Here are the likely places you'll find your hosts file:

  • Windows 95/98/ME: c:\windows\hosts
  • Windows XP Home/Pro: c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
  • Windows NT or 2000: c:\winnt\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
  • Also, check: c:\windows\help or c:\winnt\help
    (Some spyware changes the default location to these locations.)

Many of the parasite-ware programs that modify the hsots files also block affiliate links through all of the major networks. It's been a growing problem.



 2:29 am on Nov 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Don't have a windows host file"

On XP the host file is not always present at default.

Although there is a file that creates the host file. I cant remember it's exact name.



 6:27 pm on Nov 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

I recommend HijackThis. Excellent program. And free. Everyone should run it once in a while.


 6:42 pm on Nov 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Everyone should run it once in a while

Uhm, how do i install it on my mac?


 7:58 pm on Nov 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Not sure about Macs. Maybe they don't suffer the same issues?


 8:56 pm on Nov 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

When I wrote that I had a suspicion that someone with a mac would make some comment :-)


 9:32 pm on Nov 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hey, I have a file on my website (you can get it from download.com too I think) named CIP 5 . It makes sure youre host file is always fresh, and this will also speed up your brower. Its free too. Those host files can be a pain, but not any more!

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