Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 11th Jan 2016 23:35 UTC
Bugs & Viruses

For the past few weeks, Forbes.com has been forcing visitors to disable ad blockers if they want to read its content. Visitors to the site with Adblock or uBlock enabled are told they must disable it if they wish to see any Forbes content. Thanks to Forbes' interstitial ad and quote of the day, Google caching doesn't capture data properly, either.

What sets Forbes apart, in this case, is that it didn't just force visitors to disable ad blocking - it actively served them malware as soon as they did. Details were captured by security researcher Brian Baskin, who screenshotted the process.

There are no words for this level of stupidity.

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my response
by unclefester on Mon 11th Jan 2016 23:44 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

My response is always the same - keep using Adblock and stop using the site. It is the only way they learn.

Reply Score: 11

RE: my response
by birdie on Tue 12th Jan 2016 00:02 UTC in reply to "my response"
birdie Member since:
2014-07-15

There's an even better solution:

https://github.com/Mechazawa/FuckFuckAdblock

Reply Score: 5

Not surprised
by ioconnor on Tue 12th Jan 2016 00:21 UTC
ioconnor
Member since:
2013-02-02

Forbes has been so full of bad information and propaganda for so many years anybody stupid enough to visit their website deserves anything they get.

Reply Score: 3

svim
Member since:
2014-05-06

Just last week some random article that ended up in my RSS reader linked to the Forbes site. It blocked my browser with their B.S. message about disabling my ad-blocker. But I don't have any ad-blocker extensions, I do however have EFF's PrivacyBadger, which did flag tracking cookies that Forbes would have otherwise slipped into my browser.
Forbes is a classic example of why the Internet has turned into such a cesspool. It actually wants to force people visiting its site to willingly compromise their own privacy. Screw Forbes.

Reply Score: 5

Comment by Bobthearch
by Bobthearch on Tue 12th Jan 2016 04:16 UTC
Bobthearch
Member since:
2006-01-27

Holy hell, don't click those ExtremeTech links unless your ad-blocker and ghostery are prepared to work overtime! 19 trackers on a single page?!?

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by Bobthearch
by Savior on Tue 12th Jan 2016 09:12 UTC in reply to "Comment by Bobthearch"
Savior Member since:
2006-09-02

I agree completely. It is always suspecious when a site shows an empty page when you go there with NoScript allowed and the list of sites whose JS you can then allow manually is longer than your screen.

I wouldn't have expected OSnews to link to such a scam site, especially for a news item about another scammy site and just days after the article about website obesity...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Bobthearch
by kwan_e on Tue 12th Jan 2016 10:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Bobthearch"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

I wouldn't have expected OSnews to link to such a scam site, especially for a news item about another scammy site and just days after the article about website obesity...


Are you some kind of politician or clueless tech lawyer? Because linking does not imply endorsement.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Bobthearch
by Savior on Tue 12th Jan 2016 15:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Bobthearch"
Savior Member since:
2006-09-02

OSnews is unfortunately not a really a real news site, more like an aggregator; there is very little original content. As such, it has the freedom to link the best possible source. And even if linking might not mean endorsement (though if in this case, that is debatable), it certainly does mean a choice. For us readers as well.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Bobthearch
by kwan_e on Tue 12th Jan 2016 15:34 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Bobthearch"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

As such, it has the freedom to link the best possible source.


If that were the case, why aren't there more contributors to this site with better links? Could it be because people don't really have the free time to search for the best link out of tens or hundreds?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Bobthearch
by Carewolf on Tue 12th Jan 2016 14:55 UTC in reply to "Comment by Bobthearch"
Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

And a popover add, and ads reflowing and breaking content. The page is ironically broken by ads ;)

Reply Score: 3

Well ...
by WorknMan on Tue 12th Jan 2016 04:36 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

I don't personally have any issues with sites that want to disallow people running ad blockers. I mean, if you don't want me 'stealing' your content, so be it. But serving people malware when they turn their ad blockers off for you? Now THAT'S a dick move ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Well ...
by Jokel on Tue 12th Jan 2016 11:13 UTC in reply to "Well ..."
Jokel Member since:
2006-06-01

And that's exactly why I use an ad-blocker. You will never know what happens if you disable it on sites that are asking you to disable it. I simply don't trust that. I do not use a ad-blocker because adds are a PITA (although a lot of them are), but because an amount of them are actually harmful.

So - If I get a "please turn off ad-blocker" request on a site, I simply ignore that site. This has nothing to do with 'stealing' content, but it has all to do with self-protection.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Well ...
by cropr on Tue 12th Jan 2016 11:39 UTC in reply to "Well ..."
cropr Member since:
2006-02-14

I fully agree with that. I am reluctant to use adblockers, because some content can only be published thanks to the ads. A friend of mine, who is a lawyer, told me that adblockers sofware can be seen as illegal, because it changes in a systematically way a work that holds copyrights without consent of the copyright holder. I am not a legal expert but he might have a point.

Injecting malware in case you use adblockers, is of course an absolutely unacceptable practice and a very good reason to stop visiting the Forbes website

Edited 2016-01-12 11:39 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Well ...
by kwan_e on Tue 12th Jan 2016 13:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Well ..."
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

adblockers sofware can be seen as illegal, because it changes in a systematically way a work that holds copyrights without consent of the copyright holder.


Ask your lawyer friend if muting your TV and making some tea during an ad break could also be considered illegal?

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Well ...
by WorknMan on Tue 12th Jan 2016 18:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Well ..."
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

A friend of mine, who is a lawyer, told me that adblockers sofware can be seen as illegal, because it changes in a systematically way a work that holds copyrights without consent of the copyright holder. I am not a legal expert but he might have a point.


AFAIK, it doesn't change anything. It just prevents some potentially malicious content from being downloaded. Otherwise, you can make the same argument for browsers or email clients that block images from displaying.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Well ...
by ilovebeer on Tue 12th Jan 2016 22:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Well ..."
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Sounds like your lawyer friend should do a little more homework when it comes to attempts at banning software. Trying to fight adblockers through the courts is always going to be a big huge waste of time & money. The only thing that will be accomplished is increasing the number of people willing to use adblockers. A lot of people hate advertising as it is -- making them hate you even more is not going to have a positive impact on your business. Find someone who gives a shit if their adblocker is "legal" to use or not. Good luck!

Maybe the problem is with the current model rather than the end user who is sick of being abused.

Reply Score: 4

crystall
Member since:
2007-02-06

Interestingly using Firefox' private browsing mode with tracking protection gets rid of almost all the ads while keeping the site functional. Not sure how they detect ad-blockers but it's not preventing TP from working correctly.

Reply Score: 2

Example?
by cjcox on Tue 12th Jan 2016 16:34 UTC
cjcox
Member since:
2006-12-21

I just looked at several Forbes stories.. I was never forced to turn off anything. Does anyone know of a "for sure" Forbes article where it will ask?

Right now, I'm not seeing it... well.... I'm seeing Forbes articles and not seeing ads.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Example?
by Brendan on Tue 12th Jan 2016 18:16 UTC in reply to "Example?"
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

Right now, I'm not seeing it... well.... I'm seeing Forbes articles and not seeing ads.


I went to "www.forbes.com", and (after clicking on the first retarded "Continue to site in 4, 3, 2, 1" nonsense) this is what I got:

http://i.imgur.com/jQlV49A.png

It doesn't matter how many times you click "Continue to Site", it just returns to that page.

- Brendan

Reply Score: 3

RE: Example?
by Alfman on Wed 13th Jan 2016 22:23 UTC in reply to "Example?"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

cjcox,

I just looked at several Forbes stories.. I was never forced to turn off anything. Does anyone know of a "for sure" Forbes article where it will ask?


I can confirm it asks me to turn off adblock/ublock. I think they're tweaking things and testing different varients of their blocking algorithm, perhaps by location/IP. A few weeks ago I was denied access completely (exactly as Brendan described), this week it allows access after making the user read a beg screen for 5 seconds.

"Thanks for coming to Forbes. Please turn off your ad blocker in order to continue. To thank you for doing so, we’re happy to present you with an ad-light experience."

Just now I visited forbes with a googlebot useragent and a random user agent, neither of those got this message. However when I reverted to the default user agent, it stopped me. So it might just be that your user agent isn't recognized by their list of web browsers to stop adblock on.

If you really want to see it, you can try changing your UA to this: "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; Trident/7.0; rv:11.0) like Gecko"

Edited 2016-01-13 22:30 UTC

Reply Score: 2

The real stupidity is reading Forbes..
by CaptainN- on Tue 12th Jan 2016 18:15 UTC
CaptainN-
Member since:
2005-07-07

The real stupidity is reading Forbes..

Reply Score: 3

The results for the german "spiegel.de"
by Janvl on Wed 13th Jan 2016 22:04 UTC
Janvl
Member since:
2007-02-20

They dramatically dropped in Alexa.

BTW those that publish in internet know it is visible for all.
If one does not want that, use a paywall.
You will however experience how important the public in the internet think your content is, usually much less than you might think yourself.

Reply Score: 2

ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

You got that right! People will nearly welcome anything that's free. How many websites would you visit if there were an even minimal cost involved? My list would decrease and I'm sure the same is true for nearly everyone.

Adblockers are used by people tired of being ad-spammed & abused, and by people who value your website less than they do the time & tolerance it takes to click an ad and endure what happens next. The writing is on the wall, advertisers and publishers are going to have to find different and better ways to maintain their business cuz people are done being spammed and having unsolicited garbage shoved down their throats.

Btw, "targeted" ads is still unsolicited garbage. Whether or not the product/service being advertised is useful to me has no bearing on anything.

Reply Score: 2