7 Replies Latest reply: Nov 26, 2005 8:15 AM by Tom Graves
Everett Griffiths Level 3 Level 3 (905 points)
This has appeared in several other posts, but I thought this deserved its own thread. Some enterprising ad-ware creeps have figured out ways to circumvent Safari's popup blocker.

So far I've only seen this using Safar 1.3.1 on OS 10.3.9. I'm current with my updates. I've seen popups on yahoo.com and on dictionary.com. The last time this happened it turned out to be a vulnerability in the Flash plugin.

Anyone have any solid info on this?
  • Tooky Level 1 Level 1 (95 points)
    It started happening to me again after the last Security Update.
  • Tom Graves Level 7 Level 7 (20,615 points)
    Safari's block-up blocker cannot block all forms of popups. It is not good at blocking javascript popups, for example. As developers get more savy, the better able they are to get around popups. While some users have stated they have only seen a change since the recent updates, others have seen popups even with popup blocking checked for some time, maybe for as much as a year.

    The only way I know of at the moment to totally block popups in Safari (and Shiira) is to use the shareware PithHelmet plugin. I have been using PithHelmet for at least two years and have never had popups appear. MacDailyNews and Drudgereport are two sites that Safari users have complained about popups despite having popups enabled, but I have never seen any popups from these sites.

    But that is not to say that some day a developer will figure a way around PithHelmet. It is like an arms race with advertisers trying to out-do ad-blockers and vice-versa.
  • Everett Griffiths Level 3 Level 3 (905 points)
    What cheeses me off is that the advertisers feel like it's their right to intrude on our browsing. I know about freedom of speech, but what about the freedom to click the "Block Pop-ups" box? Unfortunately, we don't have a lobby in Congress, so I would guess this battle will go on, tit for tat.
  • Tom Graves Level 7 Level 7 (20,615 points)
    Just be glad you are using a Mac and don't have to worry about spy- and ad-ware that gets automatically installed and which feed popups (even when you are not on the Internet) and install more spy- and ad-ware.
  • Everett Griffiths Level 3 Level 3 (905 points)

    Amen to that. My University keeps putting pressure on my dept. because we have so many Macs, but schnikies... are they stupid? Do they like the countless "billable hours" that invariable result from using Windows as an OS? Do they like spy-ware, key-loggers, back-door ridden, virus spawning ghetto? And that's just the appetizer to what filth Microsoft has pulled politically.

    Check out the following two articles if you're in the mood for a hoot:
    Lobbyists Tied to Microsoft Wrote Citizens' Letters;
    JOSEPH MENN, EDMUND SANDERS. Los Angeles Times.:  Aug 23, 2001. pg. A.1

    Microsoft Plans Stealth Media Blitz; Publicity: Campaign to conjure image of public support called just a proposal by firm.
    Miller, Greg, Helm, Leslie. Los Angeles Times: Apr 10, 1998. pg. A1

    They basically summarize how MS went as far as to write fake editorials and form bogus grass roots movements to oppose the anti-trust lawsuits. I lived in Communist China, and that sounds a little too similar to the editorials that were meticulously fabricated by loyal cadres. I wrote a rant about this here:
    http://www.pocopico.com/rants/cultofmicrosoft.php but several papers were scared to touch it for fear of being sued. The article was heavy handed, but I didn't make that stuff up.

    I think if we're looking for morality, it ain't gonna come from a corporation. I'm just glad Linux has such a following.
  • PaudmanUK Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
    It's happening on mine, using OSX 10.4.3
    Getting a LOT of spam too in my Mail boxes, after an absence of almost years..!!
    Has someone found a loophole?
  • Tom Graves Level 7 Level 7 (20,615 points)
    Popups can occur despite popup blockers because web developers discover ways of coding that get around the blockers. It is like an arms race. The developers develop, the browser makers react, the developers develop some more ...

    As I have mentioned, PithHelmet, the shareware plugin for Safari and Shiira, has taken care of all unwanted popups for me as well as ridding pages of advertising.

    As far as spam, once your name is on a list, expect more spam, not less. The lists get past around (bought and sold, even) and this, again, is an arms race between spammers and makers of spam filters. The best thing to do is to forward the span to the abuse or spam address of your isp. For best results, you will need to open the email and change the view to show all headers (Long headers in Mail). Also train the Junk filter if you are using Mail. And never, ever, respond to the spam, click on links to "unsubscribe" or "opt-out", and do not use Mail's bounce feature. Just hit delete.