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Addendum: This thread deals with something called "Text-Enhance", a virus that attaches itself to browsers.
It is not something on this website, but on my computer.
Google it for more info.

Normally, a blue-colored text indicates a link that the poster deliberately put into a post.

I've been seeing blue-colored links within text that link to advertisers.

Anyone else seeing this?
Is this a new method of advertising, or did I inadvertently install something mischievous?
 
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Re: Text-embedded advertising links?
I don't see any such links—sorry. soblue Are they the kind that pop up little windows when you mouse over them? There is such a scheme that's called "IntelliTXT", but the hosting Web site has to participate in it.

There was a forum thread on this subject a long time ago, but I can't find it. If I recall correctly, it was some kind of malware that installed itself on a Geek's computer.
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Hugh G. Rection
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Re: Text-embedded advertising links?
You can report them in this thread (The Naughty List) in the Live Action Spam Hunting guild. The hidden spam links start getting discussed a few pages in.

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Russ Williams
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Re: Text-embedded advertising links?
Is there any reason simply using the existing spam reporting system (via the red X next to the comment with spam) is insufficient?
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Re: Text-embedded advertising links?
Da Debil wrote:

Anyone else seeing this?
Is this a new method of advertising, or did I inadvertently install something mischievous?


I haven't seen it. Maybe look at the same post in a different browser and see if the links are still there.
 
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Re: Text-embedded advertising links?
BookandGame wrote:
I haven't seen it. Maybe look at the same post in a different browser and see if the links are still there.


They are more obvious if you quote the spammers post and look at the contents.
 
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Re: Text-embedded advertising links?
I have had it happen to me before. It was some mal-ware that ended up on my computer. I ran Spybot and it took care of the problem.
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Re: Text-embedded advertising links?
crazytalk wrote:
I have had it happen to me before. It was some mal-ware that ended up on my computer. I ran Spybot and it took care of the problem.

I suspect this is what it is.
The links never stay in the same place. I saw one yesterday when I was looking at my playing history for the game Acquire. One of the numbers was a link, but it's gone now.
I've also had this happen at one other site.
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Re: Text-embedded advertising links?
OK, it just happened again and here's a screenshot:



When I reloaded the page after taking the screenshot, the blue underlined links were no longer there. They appear randomly, usually whenever there is text dealing with financial transactions.

Anyone interested can look at the thread itself and see that the links are no longer there:
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/839269/how-to-take-a-break-f...

(The links are typically to money lending websites, such as Payday Loans.)

So definitely some kind of malware thing.
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Re: Text-embedded advertising links?
Da Debil wrote:
(The links are typically to money lending websites, such as Payday Loans.)

So definitely some kind of malware thing.


Yeah, that is something that is happening on your PC. There are no links in the post. Clean your system and then stop browsing the web with an admin account.

Cleaning tools you may want to look for:
ComboFix
MalwareBytes
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Re: Text-embedded advertising links?
russ wrote:
Is there any reason simply using the existing spam reporting system (via the red X next to the comment with spam) is insufficient?


The red X is for many things, not just spam. The LASH sends admins directly to spammers, rather than having to wade through pages of potentially abusive comments. It also allows them to take care of spam in a timely manner that is popping up in older threads, that may not get many flags . ..
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Re: Text-embedded advertising links?
nycavri wrote:
russ wrote:
Is there any reason simply using the existing spam reporting system (via the red X next to the comment with spam) is insufficient?


The red X is for many things, not just spam. The LASH sends admins directly to spammers, rather than having to wade through pages of potentially abusive comments. It also allows them to take care of spam in a timely manner that is popping up in older threads, that may not get many flags . ..

In this particular case, it isn't something posted to this website. It's a virus on my computer.

The virus is called Text-Enhance. Google has info on it.

By the way, Spybot didn't find it, much less remove it.
Simply disabling it in my browser's Tools section didn't work, because it is not listed as an extension.
I'm currently downloading Malewarebytes to try to remove it.
 
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Russ Williams
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nycavri wrote:
russ wrote:
Is there any reason simply using the existing spam reporting system (via the red X next to the comment with spam) is insufficient?


The red X is for many things, not just spam. The LASH sends admins directly to spammers, rather than having to wade through pages of potentially abusive comments. It also allows them to take care of spam in a timely manner that is popping up in older threads, that may not get many flags . ..

So... couldn't that be solved by separating out the spam queue from the personal attack & trolling queue?

It just seems a bit oddly inefficient and a step backwards to have a nice implemented automatic easy to use interface for spam reporting, and then require people to go posting links in a thread in a spam-guild forum...!

(PS: Understood that the example that started this thread is not spam in the first place, but a user's infected computer.)
 
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Da Debil wrote:
By the way, Spybot didn't find it, much less remove it.
Simply disabling it in my browser's Tools section didn't work, because it is not listed as an extension.
I'm currently downloading Malewarebytes to try to remove it.


Lots of malware will try to get itself into system areas so that it's much harder to remove it, let alone stop the running processes. This is why it's important to not operate with an admin account. Without admin privileges, this crap will be restricted to only infecting the user profile it was launched under.

Try booting into Safe Mode and then run the removal tools. ComboFix is pretty effective, but still run one or more other tools afterwards.

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Removing a browser add-on called YouTube Downloader Something-Or-Other...seems to have cured the issue.
Neither Spybot not Malwarebytes noticed anything unusual.

First malicious software I've had in about 3-4 years. Shit happens.

 
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russ wrote:
nycavri wrote:
russ wrote:
Is there any reason simply using the existing spam reporting system (via the red X next to the comment with spam) is insufficient?


The red X is for many things, not just spam. The LASH sends admins directly to spammers, rather than having to wade through pages of potentially abusive comments. It also allows them to take care of spam in a timely manner that is popping up in older threads, that may not get many flags . ..


. . . It just seems a bit oddly inefficient and a step backwards to have a nice implemented automatic easy to use interface for spam reporting, and then require people to go posting links in a thread in a spam-guild forum...!


I think the LASH Guild is just a bit of fun for people who spend too much time on the site. That there is a measuable benefit of removing spammers quicker is just gravy!
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