>>>What do you expect to come up when you search for a term in Google or Bing? Page after page of relevant results, right? Wrong, buster – at least if you're a customer of an ISP that engages in search query redirection. Late last night, a report surfaced that reveals that several ISPs, with the help of a company called PaxFire, have secretly been hijacking your traffic when you search for a certain major keywords. Why? Revenue, of course.
Want names? We got names. The EFF and ISCI identified the following ISPs as actively involved in search hijacking: Cavalier, Cincinnati Bell, Cogent, Frontier, Hughes, IBBS, Insight Broadband, Megapath, Paetec, RCN, Wide Open West, XO Communication, Fuse, and DirecPC. Additionally, Charter and Iowa Telecom hijacked search traffic in the past, but stopped within the past year. The shady ISPs have several million customers between them. Edit: Ars Technica is reporting on a similar finding by a Microsoft/Polytechnic Inst. of NY team. They've added Spacenet, Onvoy and SDN to the list of offenders and say that 2 percent of all US Internet users are affected by the nefarious practice.
The EFF calls out several of the marketing affiliates profiting from the search hijacking: "The affiliate programs involved include Commission Junction, the Google Affiliate Network, LinkShare, and Ask.com." Note that the Google Affiliate Network isn't Google itself – in fact, NewScientist says Google complained to ISPs about the traffic hijacking earlier this year.<<<
More interesting reading on this:
Small ISPs use "malicious" DNS servers to watch Web searches, earn cash
US internet providers hijacking users' search queries
Widespread Hijacking of Search Traffic in the United States
Edited by Union_Thug, 05 August 2011 - 07:43 PM.