FunWebProducts

Jan 24, 2005 • 6:46 pm | comments (5) by twitter | Filed Under Search & Web SEO Spam
 

Today I was skimming some http log files for a particular page of mine. In the last hour, I received 50 visitors (unique IP addresses), but only 5 had referring data. Looking a little closer, the ones without the referring data were all using Internet Explorer on Windows and had "FunWebProducts" within their user agent.

So I did some Googling and FunWebProducts is another one of the million or so hijackware/adware/spyware toolbars that users unknowingly install on their computer. The interesting thing about these guys is they infected a very large percentage of the Internet's users very quickly. And now that I know what they are, I recall seeing their banner ads all over the place (including yahoo.com).

It doesn't seem to do a complete block of referral URL, just external ones (you will see image requests have a referral URL of your page for example). But then again, external referrals is the more important ones. I probably would have never cared or noticed how widespread the infection is if they didn't block the referral data. In truth, it's probably not blocking referrals directly, and instead does not show the referral URL of people using the search function it installs. I'm not going to install it to confirm though, sorry. :)

So now the assignment for all the readers... check your web logs and see what percentage of your visitors are not giving you referral data. You might be surprised how many of them have FunWebProducts within their user agent.

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Comments:

keywordmonkey

01/25/2005 01:40 pm

FunWebProducts includes the My Way search bar, now owned by Ask Jeeeves (http://info.myway.com/index/id/partner.html). Oh dear.

Barry Schwartz

01/25/2005 01:56 pm

I noticed that as well, in my log files. Ask Jeeves, what are you doing?

Net Sense

01/27/2005 12:25 am

They're aggregated in your User Agents list in Webalizer (which most hosting services provide). On a site with 80,000 unique visitors a month, those with Fun Web Products spyware installed constitute 3.5% of all users.

Jay

09/15/2008 11:46 pm

Looks like there's a lot of people with this search bar installed on their computer. Here's what my weblog returned for one user: 205.188.XXX.X Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; AOL 9.0; Windows NT 5.1; FunWebProducts; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)

monger

12/03/2008 07:56 pm

Amazingly, over three years later this is still a problem. We just got a support email from someone having difficulty using our site. Sure enough, FunWebProducts is listed in his browser information: Web Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0; FunWebProducts; SLCC1;

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