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Author Topic: Firefox Extension for (My)WOT: Malwarebytes found Hijacker AFTER Uninstall!  (Read 1018 times)
Fight4FOI
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« on: May 22, 2012, 02:46:32 PM »

Hi, Y'all!
Just found this site (Mobysaurus sent me), but am in love with it! Kiss Just 2 broke 2 donate, right now. Cry
I've run into a brick wall while attempting to find anybody or any sites, besides one (I'll post the link in a moment), that has discovered what I have about the MyWOT add-on/toolbar!

1st a little history: I installed the add-on from Firefox, sometime in mid 2009. It seemed to work as advertised, especially when I was looking for reputable freeware & open-source software; I occasionally overrode a rating (and rated myself) for a site that I'd bookmarked and that I already trusted (I have continuously used Comodo Firewall, Spybot S&D, & AVAST for XP. I also use these safety & privacy add-ons: NoScript, AdBlocker Plus, Privacy Suite, and Track-Me-Not.).

MyWOT seemed okay, until a few months back, when I started getting BIG WARNING pop-ups on a bunch of the sites I visit regularly (libertarian/Civil Rights [i.e. Bill of Rights], US Sovereignty, natural & herbal remedies, etc. websites), more and more!  So I started checking for the reasons why these sites started coming up "red flagged", but when I found that the actual POSTS/COMMENTS were anywhere from 20, 30, or even 50 to 1 FAVORABLE(!!), I smelled a rat and alarm bells started going off.  On 4/26/2012, I posted a message to the MyWOT forum admins asking how was this possible and WHY would anyone be "RED Rating" sites for "VENDOR RELIABILITY" when they neither SOLD anything nor offered anything to DOWNLOAD(?!) AND for "CHILD SAFETY" when it might only be a BLOG!!  All I got was a smarmy, supercilious answer from an ADMIN pointing me to their "WIKI" and saying that "some raters are more equal than others", yeah, like some "raters" ratings equal 200+ votes! AND the more they rate (personal experience NOT REQUIRED!) the MORE VOTE POINTS THEY ACCUMULATE!

I posted to Mozilla, to say that this add-on developer was violating Mozilla's OWN POLICY (look it up: AMO Developer's Policy), but after receiving no reply, I began researching MyWOT. Here's where it gets ugly:

I uninstalled the add-on on 4/26/2012, on 5/02 I found it hadn't completely uninstalled, so I used notepad++ to manually clean out the pref.js file, but I had also found this http://www.exposeascam.com/showthread.php?398-mywot.com-Unethical-Company-SCAM, but I'd been using Peerguardian2 for years, so on 5/15/2012 I just had PG2 search for the URL mentioned in the article, going back to March 2012 (had a meltdown in March; lost everything! Cry mad) and found UNAUTHORIZED OUTBOUND CONNECTIONS going to that URL (which every DNS lookup shows is for mywot.com!!

Of course I blocked it, but it WOULDN'T STAY BLOCKED!! I checked the next 2 days (re-block, check, re-block, check!), so I went and got Malwarebytes, installed and ran a scan: It found 1 HIJACKER program & registry entry and 2 hidden temp files all pointing to mywot! It cleaned it out, but guess what else? Other than that, my system is CLEAN AS A WHISTLE!  Thmbsup cheesy

Here's the problem: I can't find anybody else (except a couple of Danish and Asian sites, who seem ticked off, but I can't tell why embarassed) and 1 mention of a "blacklist" on robtex.com that seems to have found a problem!  I can't find a search engine that isn't controlled by Google and they (and everybody else) seem to be using it as a "trust" vetter!  Mozilla says, "No big deal!" even AFTER I told them it was transmitting whether the browser was OPEN OR NOT!!

Isn't this something users and people should know?

Totalitarianism AND Spyware, but it's "No big deal" . . .

Please, any advice would be helpful!
Thanks for your time.
Sincerely,
Fight4FOI (Fight for a Free & Open Internet)
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Curt
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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2012, 04:22:53 PM »

-get used to it; "users are too dumb to know what is good for them", so myWOT can do whatever they like in the name of safety. Just like certain anti-malware scanners, etcetera. Just don't install them in the first place.

Welcome here.  thumbs up
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Deozaan
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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2012, 04:50:40 PM »

Hi Fight4FOI.

This is one of the potential problems of crowd-sourced ratings. It doesn't matter what the facts are. Anybody can give the site a rating using WOT. Some people will use this ability as a weapon to mark sites they disagree with as being "bad" in an effort to censor/silence opposition.


Interestingly, this site is marked as untrustworthy (all 4 red flags) by WOT. Hmm... undecided
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Fight4FOI
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« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2012, 01:38:53 PM »

Thanks Curt & Deozaan, for both the welcome and the quick replies! Grin

At 1st I was just outraged by the blatant bias and malicious, intentional, and unwarranted attacks on some websites that hadn't even heard of "WOT"!

BTW, I think this proves they're out to kill y'all off, too:
Quote
Interestingly, this site is marked as untrustworthy (all 4 red flags) by WOT. Hmm... undecided
THAT is exactly the point I tried to get across to Mozilla: They use the "CHILD SAFETY" rating as the proverbial "nail in the coffin"! Something needs to be done, but I don't know what!

BUT . . . Isn't the evidence of the "Hijacker" program AND the continued UNAUTHORIZED TRANSMISSIONS to mywot.com even AFTER I had completely uninstalled the software a more urgent concern? I believe that's what the class action suit is all about against Facebook! See: http://blogs.findlaw.com/courtside/2012/05/facebook-plaintiffs-amend-15b-lawsuit-on-day-of-facebook-ipo.html?DCMP=NWL-cons_breakingdocs

Isn't there anyplace reputable (and NOT in Google/WOT's pockets) that a report can be made about the spyware found?

Yes, I believe in an open & accessible internet, where people can exercise their 1st Amendment Right, but collusion and unauthorized electronic data gathering are, I believe, illegal.
What say y'all?
Fight4FOI
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