Thursday, September 27, 2012

Blogger Blogs Being Hijacked By Instagram Gadgets

We're seeing a noticeable amount of noise today, from blog owners reporting that their blogs appear to be susceptible to antivirus detection - and others reporting that their readers are complaining of mysterious misdirection, when viewing their blogs.
My blog is struggling to fully load, and hangs saying "Waiting for platotv . com" and "Waiting for directagain . net"
and
I'm getting warnings from Avast when I try to view my blog!


Upon examination of the blogs affected, we see a large number which contain the "I'm An Instagram Addict!", or similar, gadget. Most blog owners who admit to having an Instagram gadget have reported relief, having removed the gadget in question. We're still looking, to see where these dodgy gadgets are coming from.

(Update 2012/10/08): We are now seeing suggestions from various people, representing themselves as employees of "BadgePLZ", suggesting that the problems with their code has been fixed.

If your blog is generating antivirus alerts - or if your readers report misdirection - you may wish to remove any Instagram accessories, recently installed. You may wish to clear cache and restart the browser, after removal. You may need direct access to various dashboard wizards, in some extreme cases.

Right now, the majority of the problems reported seem to involve an "IFrame", targeting "badgeplz . com".
<iframe src='http : // badgeplz . com / instagram / ?u=mun_mun90&t=c&bgclr=f2f2f2&brclr=cccccc&px=1&py=5&pb=5&brds=5&incls=n&svc=instagram&pbclr=ffffff&sze=75' allowtransparency='true' frameborder='0' scrolling='no' style='border:none; overflow:hidden; width:118px; height: 482px'></iframe>
We're currently unsure whether this is an intentional hijacking, or simply bad coding. Until the owners of "badgeplz . com" state their intentions, we'll simply advise you to remove this gadget, if you have added it to your blog.

As usual, I'll caution you against indiscriminate installation of third party gadgets, in general.

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