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Author Topic: Has my browser been hi-jacked?  (Read 4733 times)

crabby3

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Has my browser been hi-jacked?
« on: March 30, 2013, 07:36:10 AM »
Lately when I use the search box at the top of Comcast Xfinity's homepage a white page comes up and ALL of the text is flush left.  And the Search Results are about half way down ... also flush left.

Is this a computer virus issue?

Compatibility view does nothing.
Switching search engines does nothing.
Avast boot-time scan ... nothing found
MBAM scan ... nothing
SuperAntiSpyware ... nothing
Deleting everything you can delete in Browsing History ... nothing

If I launch IE9 without add-ons the browser works fine.

Anyone seen this before?   :tellme:

mouser

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Re: Has my browser been hi-jacked?
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2013, 07:46:07 AM »
Someone else will probably chime in with a more useful suggestion but it sure does NOT sounds like a virus to me.

Renegade

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Re: Has my browser been hi-jacked?
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2013, 07:52:14 AM »
Anyone seen this before?   :tellme:

I haven't seen exactly THAT before, but I've seen numerous similar messes.

Try another browser. Try Opera, Chrome, Firefox. If they all have the same problem, then it's time to check the HTML, JS and CSS to see if that's the problem. Next after that... Not too sure.

Chances are it's a browser issue. You can check to see if you have any BHOs installed for IE or other addins/plugins/whatevers. One of them could be causing it. Also, AV of firewall software *could* potentially cause an issue, though this is highly unlikely.
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40hz

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Re: Has my browser been hi-jacked?
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2013, 08:28:48 AM »
I've run into that with some sites if I'm blocking javascript on them.

I suspect it has something to do with the site trying to dynamically format the page depending on the viewing platform (i.e. phone/mobile/desktop) and blocking scripts screws up its ability to do that.

If you have a script blocker installed (and you should) try whitelisting the site you're having problems with and see if that fixes it.

Luck! :Thmbsup:

crabby3

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Re: Has my browser been hi-jacked?
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2013, 08:35:28 AM »
I've run into that with some sites if I'm blocking javascript on them.

If you have a script blocker installed (and you should) try whitelisting the site you're having problems with and see if that fixes it.

Luck! :Thmbsup:

Don't know how to tell if I have a script blocker.  I did uninstall Java about a month ago.

crabby3

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Re: Has my browser been hi-jacked?
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2013, 09:10:29 AM »
Just installed Google and it works fine.  :)  So... I'll just use it instead and keep Comcast as my *Bad-News Provider*.

Thanks all!   :)

cyberdiva

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Re: Has my browser been hi-jacked?
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2013, 02:16:20 PM »
Just installed Google and it works fine.  :)  So... I'll just use it instead and keep Comcast as my *Bad-News Provider*.
Perhaps I missed something, but I'm not sure what you mean by "just installed Google and it works fine."  What do you mean by "Google"?  The search engine?  Gmail?  Google Reader (which is about to disappear)?  How is "Google" a substitute for Comcast?  I'm not trying to be snide, I simply don't understand.

crabby3

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Re: Has my browser been hi-jacked?
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2013, 03:26:15 PM »
Just installed Google and it works fine.  :)  So... I'll just use it instead and keep Comcast as my *Bad-News Provider*.
Perhaps I missed something, but I'm not sure what you mean by "just installed Google and it works fine."  What do you mean by "Google"?  The search engine?  Gmail?  Google Reader (which is about to disappear)?  How is "Google" a substitute for Comcast?  I'm not trying to be snide, I simply don't understand.

The search engine; yes.  Renegade suggested to switch browsers (reply #2 above) so I picked Google.  I planned to use it instead of the search box at the top of the Comcast Xfinity home page; which is what I have been using.   :)

Google isn't a substitute for Comcast.  It's an add-on substitute for Comcast Xfinity's search box.   ;D

cyberdiva

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Re: Has my browser been hi-jacked?
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2013, 06:47:48 PM »
Crabby3, thanks for explaining what you meant.  The reason I was confused is that Google is not a browser.  By choosing to use the Google search engine in the search box, you're not switching browsers, you're just switching search engines.  Google's search engine can be used with any browser.

Tinman57

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Re: Has my browser been hi-jacked?
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2013, 08:49:42 PM »
I've run into that with some sites if I'm blocking javascript on them.

I suspect it has something to do with the site trying to dynamically format the page depending on the viewing platform (i.e. phone/mobile/desktop) and blocking scripts screws up its ability to do that.

If you have a script blocker installed (and you should) try whitelisting the site you're having problems with and see if that fixes it.

Luck! :Thmbsup:

  You took the words right out of my mouth.  I as about to post a similar message until I saw your post.  lol

crabby3

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Re: Has my browser been hi-jacked?
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2013, 06:25:28 AM »
This is a quote from my DC bio:

I'm not a computer geek. (no disrespect intended) I barely know the difference between software and hardware. (just kidding but close) I just don't have the interest.

I've tried to become more computer-savvy but the interest or brain cells just aren't there.   ;D

Sorry for the confusion.  :-[

crabby3

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Re: Has my browser been hi-jacked?
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2013, 07:47:24 AM »
I did something right yesterday ... but I don't know what.   :huh:

I tried using the Comcast Xfinity search box this morning and the results page came up looking like it used to (my normal).   :o

Maybe installing the Google search engine changed something?  Or maybe I was visited by the IT Guardians?   ;D

Both the Comcast and Search Results pages are in compatibility mode now ... but I tried this yesterday, before the Google install, and it didn't help.

Not knowing the cure is almost as bad as the problem itself.

J-Mac

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Re: Has my browser been hi-jacked?
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2013, 12:12:27 AM »
Sounds like you installed the Comcast/Xfinity Self-Install Kit. Bad mojo! Try this link and see if anything there helps: http://blog.ryanparman.com/2011/07/07/remove-comcastxfinity-start-page-from-firefox-mac/

Jim

crabby3

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Re: Has my browser been hi-jacked?
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2013, 06:32:37 AM »
Sounds like you installed the Comcast/Xfinity Self-Install Kit. Bad mojo! Try this link and see if anything there helps: http://blog.ryanparman.com/2011/07/07/remove-comcastxfinity-start-page-from-firefox-mac/

Jim

Thanks for your advice J-Mac but I think I'll leave well-enough-alone.  As of today the problem that started this Topic is gone. (Xfinity Search Engine is back the way it was).

I use Windows BTW (please see my DC signature) so maybe you could provide a walkthrough link for a Windows OS?   :)

FWIW:  This was a relatively recent issue, less than a week, and I started using Comcast long before Xfinity was tacked on.  It's been about 6 years since I installed but I can't recall how or what I used.   :huh:

J-Mac

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Re: Has my browser been hi-jacked?
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2013, 10:03:15 AM »
crabby,

I know that but you hadn't mentioned what OS you are running up till now. Actually you haven't really described the problem very well so far. I understand that you say you are not very well-versed technologically, but you need to at least give us the basics that you can. OS and edition (Windows 7, Vista, XP, etc.), Firefox version, what Comcast/Xfinity software have you installed? Or did Comcast install software on your computer when they set up your service? E.g., was the Comcast software that they try to get you to install when starting their service installed by you or a Comcast tech? Is the Comcast/Xfinity "Constant Guard" so-called security software installed by you or Comcast? The Comcast toolbar?

What AntiVirus and/or AntiMalware software is installed? Firewall? If you can try to gather up as much as that information as possible it would help a lot!

Thanks!

Jim

crabby3

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Re: Has my browser been hi-jacked?
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2013, 12:52:19 PM »
crabby,

I know that but you hadn't mentioned what OS you are running up till now. Actually you haven't really described the problem very well so far. I understand that you say you are not very well-versed technologically, but you need to at least give us the basics that you can. OS and edition (Windows 7, Vista, XP, etc.), Firefox version, what Comcast/Xfinity software have you installed? Or did Comcast install software on your computer when they set up your service? E.g., was the Comcast software that they try to get you to install when starting their service installed by you or a Comcast tech? Is the Comcast/Xfinity "Constant Guard" so-called security software installed by you or Comcast? The Comcast toolbar?

What AntiVirus and/or AntiMalware software is installed? Firewall? If you can try to gather up as much as that information as possible it would help a lot!

Thanks!

Jim

So many questions ... so little time ...  ;D

I guess nobody reads other peoples DC signatures?  Mine has been at the bottom of ALL of my posts ever since DC let me put it there.  You know ... yours is J-Mac in bold blue letters.  Mine is my current OS and browser in tiny little black letters.  If you've chosen to block signatures in your Look and Layout Preferences ... oh well.   :-\

As far as not describing the problem very well?  I did the best I could in the very beginning when I started this New Topic.  Sorry but you'll have to scroll up to the top or down to the bottom to read it.  (Also in Look and Layout.)

This first post also includes what I did, before I came to DC, to look for a possible cause of the problem.  BTW the problem is gone ... in case you didn't know.   8)

The only thing Comcast *did for me* was hook me up outdoors, supply me with 100' of indoor cable w/ F-connectors (ran it myself), phone in my/their modem's MAC Address and assign me a password.

Nobody installed any software, them or me, and I've never had their Constant Guard pos.  I started using Comcast about 6 years ago, before they tacked on Xfinity, and never had this issue until a few days ago.  I didn't include this info the first sentence originally because it didn't seem important.

The only Comcast toolbar I have is the one at the top of Comcast Xfinity's home page.  I didn't physically install a Comcast toolbar.

The AntiVirus and AntiMalware I have is also listed in the first post.  (Sorry ... more scrolling)   ;D

The Firewall is what came with my version of Windows.

Guess that's all of it?

You're welcome!

c3
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 01:55:01 PM by crabby3, Reason: more accurate »

app103

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Re: Has my browser been hi-jacked?
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2013, 02:58:49 PM »
The problem you described seems to me like it could have been a corrupted style sheet download (or similar problem) on the search page, which isn't your fault and not usually a sign of malware or anything broken on your computer.

These things have a way of fixing themselves sometimes, if you can clear the browser's cache and reload the page again (which grabs a brand new copy of the style sheet, hopefully uncorrupted). Or in your case, just wait till your browser does that automatically, any way.

In case this ever happens to you again, here is how to clear the cache in IE9: http://www.wikihow.c...#Internet_Explorer_9

How to do the same in other browsers is also listed on that page.

And as mentioned before by 40hz, a script blocker (or even an ad blocker) can mess up pages the same way, if it is blocking a script needed for formatting the page.

Also, if things are broken and then you disable the add-ons, and it fixes itself, but breaks again if you turn them all back on, sometimes it could be an incompatibility between the code of the page and one of your add-ons. To find out which one, deactivate all your add-ons, verify that the issue seems fixed, then reactivate them one at a time, reloading and checking to see if the page breaks each time, till you have discovered the one add-on doing it. Then either check for an update on that add-on, or deactivate it, uninstall it, whatever, till the developer updates it or you have had time to find a suitable replacement. (don't forget to always uninstall old add-ons that you don't plan on using any more)

This is a quote from my DC bio:

I'm not a computer geek. (no disrespect intended) I barely know the difference between software and hardware. (just kidding but close) I just don't have the interest.

I've tried to become more computer-savvy but the interest or brain cells just aren't there.   ;D

Sorry for the confusion.  :-[

And to become an expert user (or just fake it), keep a detailed record of all the problems you have had and their solutions, that way if you (or a friend/family member) ever have them again, you'll have your own cheat sheet to refer to and won't have to go crazy with searching the web for solutions or asking others for help (unless the fix you have listed in your personal cheat sheet, fails).

Just remember that cheat sheets are OS version specific. Make a new cheat sheet when you change Windows versions. What worked for you to solve a problem in Win98 may not be the solution for the same problem in XP, Vista, Win7, or 8, and sometimes can cause more harm than good. Always verify that it's still the solution, if your cheat sheet is from a different version of Windows.

Somewhere, I still have a binder full of stuff I printed out back in the Win98 era. It's full of instructions on how to fix things, how to do things, and all kinds of other stuff. Some of it was things most people would never ever have a need to know how to do (like manually rebuilding the TCP/IP stack). Some of it was stuff I ended up doing quite often (like how to compress a .wav file in Windows Sound Recorder) and much of it was things I only needed to know that one time.

But it felt good to have that notebook. It felt good not to feel so helpless when something went wrong...again. And it was great not to have to wait till my father had the time to walk me through something over the phone...again. Or wait till he had the time to come over and fix it himself.

And if you want to know how much of a computer geek I was when I started that notebook...well...page 1 was how to shut down Windows and turn off the computer properly, through the Start menu.  :-[

Tinman57

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Re: Has my browser been hi-jacked?
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2013, 04:50:56 PM »
And to become an expert user (or just fake it), keep a detailed record of all the problems you have had and their solutions, that way if you (or a friend/family member) ever have them again, you'll have your own cheat sheet to refer to and won't have to go crazy with searching the web for solutions or asking others for help (unless the fix you have listed in your personal cheat sheet, fails).

  I have text "Help Files" on just about every subject in a special "Help-Tips-Fixes" folder.  Every problem I've had in the past, and some others have had, with solutions, is stored in an appropriate sub-folder.  Anytime I have a problem that I or others have had in the past, I just go to my special Help-Tips-Fixes folder and refresh my memory.  It has saved my bacon hundreds of times over the years....