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Beware the Domain Squatters

A squatter has taken over a defunct domain at the far end of a link buried somewhere in the 3800 posts you find here. In place of the useful page I saw, you’ll see this stylin’ popover:

Domain Squat - engineeration dot com
Domain Squat – engineeration dot com

The “standard security check” is a nice touch, although you should keep in mind the Dilbert cartoon about unexpected side effects.

The actual URL, which I will not make clickable, includes the domain ffgetsplendidapps, which tells you just about everything you need to know about what’s going on.

Because they’re squatting, “continue directly to your destination” means being dumped into a Google search after they’ve meddled with your browser & system configuration. Clicking the inconspicuous × in the upper right closes the popover and dumps you into the search, perhaps before doing anything.

I have no good (i.e., automated) way to find broken links and, as far as I know, there is no way to automatically detect domain squatting, so you’re on your own.

Trust, but verify!

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  1. #1 by madbodger on 2019-08-06 - 10:05

    On my less protected browser, the Dilbert link attempts to “update Flash” with a sketchy-looking one. A lot of WordPress ads do, too.

    • #2 by RCPete on 2019-08-06 - 12:43

      AdBlock Latitude and NoScript made for a pleasant viewing experience. [grin] (Yeah, NoScript can be a pain, but it gets rid of a lot of gubbage.)

    • #3 by Ed on 2019-08-07 - 07:53

      Perhaps “sacrificial browser” might be a better description.

      Maybe once a week, I must tell the Pi-hole it’s being too enthusiastic, but, on the whole, uBlock Origin + Privacy Badger + Pi-hole make the WWW surprisingly calm.

      Note for new readers: beware scammers surrounding those projects. Search engines return many sites that aren’t what you’re looking for, so be careful when you install browser extensions!

  2. #4 by Brent on 2019-08-06 - 16:20

    “I have no good (i.e., automated) way to find broken links ”

    Xenu Link Sleuth is old, but still works:

    http://home.snafu.de/tilman/xenulink.html

    • #5 by Ed on 2019-08-07 - 08:12

      Unleashing Xenu on softsolder.com scans only that page. The blog isn’t linked in a hierarchical tree structure, so maybe Xenu can’t handle it or WordPress.com does something to prevent Xenu from finding the posts from the main page.

      Between link rot and squatters, even my external memory is failing!

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