11 Replies Latest reply: Aug 17, 2009 12:58 PM by Golden Shoes
kevs55 Level 2 Level 2 (200 points)
Testing private browsing. Later in day got some downloaded files I did not ask for. In PB, aren't your cookies disabled?

Mac OS X (10.4.10), G5 dual 1.8 , 2mb ram
  • Golden Shoes Level 5 Level 5 (4,015 points)
    Greetings,

    No, cookies are not disabled in private browsing; saving of cookies and history is disabled. This is covered in Safari's Help menu, under Private Browsing.
  • kevs55 Level 2 Level 2 (200 points)
    Thanks Golden,
    I deleted all my cookies then choose dont accept cookies. Still, I getting this small harmless file that downloads to my desktop everytime I connect to the internet, 0 kb, huge irritant. what do?
    Maybe some site, even though I changed preference still has my info or is that possible? again, I cleared cookies. what do?
  • Golden Shoes Level 5 Level 5 (4,015 points)
    That file is being downloaded by an advertiser for whatever website you were at when it happened. If you disable JavaScript in Preferences>Security, that should stop it, but you'll also be unable to access or view a lot of content on many, many web sites. A more effective way of blocking those is to add the domain of the advertiser to your Hosts file.

    You could also use the CSS file from FloppyMoose to block ads from many web sites, and/or use the blocking list provided by Hostal.
  • kevs55 Level 2 Level 2 (200 points)
    Golden,
    thanks.
    How do I add the domain? What is my Hosts file?

    How can I prevent this from happening in future? It's never happened in 10 years of being on web, benn lucky?

    It's not an ad, it's some file 0kb which cannot be opened.

    I cannot believe someone out there can upload a file to by desktop with me being asked about it.
  • Golden Shoes Level 5 Level 5 (4,015 points)
    What is my Hosts file?


    Your Hosts file is what the System refers to at boot time so that it ignores certain domains when you're on the Internet. If you go to the Finder and select Go>Go to Folder…, then type in /etc and press Return, it will take you to that invisible folder, where you'll find the Hosts file.

    Open it with any text editor and you should see how it's setup for each domain that is ignored. You just need to add the domain for that advertiser, then save the changes and restart your Mac to test it out.

    It's not an ad, it's some file 0kb which cannot be opened.


    It is an ad; it was served from an advertiser to that site. You just need to determine the domain of the advertiser before you can add it to the Hosts file. That might be found using Get Info on the file or folder, or looking at the Activity window in Safari when you're on the site and looking through the files listed to find the advertiser(s).

    I cannot believe someone out there can upload a file to by desktop with me being asked about it.


    No file was uploaded. An empty file was downoaded, but that's due to JavaScript being enabled and the advertiser coding that into the ad. You can block the ads using the method I described, disable JavaScript, and/or complain to the webmaster or web site owners about that advertiser and demand they stop that practice.
  • kevs55 Level 2 Level 2 (200 points)
    Golden,
    are you joking? You seem quite bright, but come on, I was surfing dozens of sites, I have no idea who the culprit is.

    The file will tell me nothing.

    What is the file? it's an AD? I take your word for it but it says nothing and open with no app. and is 0 kb. Says nothing anyhwere.

    And how does this work? Java? his has my IP? I don't get it.

    I cleared cookies again. so it's calmed down a bit. not sure that solved it permanently.
    thanks for great info. but please address my points. thanks!
  • Golden Shoes Level 5 Level 5 (4,015 points)
    The culprit is outbrain.com, and the domain they're serving those downloads from is odb.outbrain.com. So if you add that to your Hosts file and then restart your Mac and go to one of those sites again, no mysterious downloads will happen.

    Unfortunately, you'll have to use the Pico editor to add the domain to the Hosts file or use Hostal, which has a whole long list of blocked domains and ad blocks ready to use. It costs money, but at least then you can easily enable/disable domains at your leisure using a GUI, and it will not give you problems in saving the file due to permissions issues.
  • kevs55 Level 2 Level 2 (200 points)
    Who says it's outbrain.com?
  • Golden Shoes Level 5 Level 5 (4,015 points)
    Who says it's outbrain.com?


    Because so far they are the only ones doing this.
  • kevs55 Level 2 Level 2 (200 points)
    Never visited their site. Never heard of them.
  • Golden Shoes Level 5 Level 5 (4,015 points)
    You don't have to go to their site for this to happen; the downloads are being initiated from that site, which is why you want to block them in your Hosts file or turn off JavaScript.