This website wants to run the following add-on... December 30, 2007 8:52 PM   Subscribe

Over the past couple of days when I access MetaFilter (via XP Professional and I.E. 7.0.5730.13) the Internet Explorer Information Bar has 'popped-up' with a security warning: "This website wants to run the following add-on: 'Microsoft Data Access - Remote Data Services Dat...'" Having done a Google search, it appears that in the past two-weeks visitors to other websites have been getting the same warning. I have not allowed/given access to the pop-up warning. Any ideas as to what's up?
posted by ericb to MetaFilter-Related at 8:52 PM (16 comments total)

Whatever it is, it's not from Microsoft.
posted by MiG at 9:20 PM on December 30, 2007

ericb, sounds like you might have the virus on your copy of IE. I seriously doubt it is anything on my end.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:50 PM on December 30, 2007

Not getting it here - fully patched XP Media Center, latest IE, recently scanned for viruses.

Ericb: have you changed any of your services around? That might explain it.
posted by Ryvar at 10:09 PM on December 30, 2007

From what I can tell based on that Experts Exchange (ugh, I can't believe they're still around) posting, a compromised site would have an obfuscated JS applet in it; MeFi -- at least when I view it -- has nothing in the code.

It might be enlightening to open the raw HTML for the Metafilter main page on the machine in question (the one that's showing the message), and compare it to a known-clean machine's output. If you stuck it up via Pastebin* or something similar, it would be easy for others to compare. That would sort out authoritatively whether it was your machine or a server-side issue.

Speaking of HTML errors, just don't try to actually use right now, because it's borked. Paste2 works, though.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:14 PM on December 30, 2007

I've seen that elsewhere, but not here. I wonder if it's in one of the advertisements? I use an ad blocker, so I wouldn't ever see those.

It isn't as if this would be the first time that advertising was infected.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 11:05 PM on December 30, 2007

I too have recently received that message on other sites, but not MeFi.

I just reformatted last week, so I had assumed it was related to that. So far I've not accepted it and was just too lazy to look it up.
posted by Ynoxas at 11:20 PM on December 30, 2007

*blinks furiously at unexpected people admitting to IE use*
posted by loquacious at 4:01 AM on December 31, 2007 [7 favorites]

ericb, sounds like you might have the virus on your copy of IE. I seriously doubt it is anything on my end.

Matt, thanks. I've been running some scans and utilities since last night. Nothing shows up. FYI -- I'm not having the problem this morning.
posted by ericb at 6:50 AM on December 31, 2007

It isn't as if this would be the first time that advertising was infected.
True that, also it seems as if there were quite a few of those trojan-flash banners that hijack your browser around over the holidays as I encountered them on many sites. This would be a bit different though, but I guess you could bake pretty much anything into a trojan-flash banner.
posted by dabitch at 7:43 AM on December 31, 2007

(via XP Professional and I.E. 7.0.5730.13)

/my best asavage impression

Well, there's your problem right there...

I'd check for viruses and corrupt files in IE: I talk with customers who have problems similar to this, and the fix I suggest goes like this: 1.) run virus scanner, 2.) clear out all cache and cookie files, and 3.) tell them all about this amazing new product that will get rid of that particular error once and for all.
posted by quin at 8:51 AM on December 31, 2007

Ericb, I've never seen IE7 give me that alert on MF, but it's not my primary browser (as I'm mostly on a Mac laptop these days), so I'm also not a heavy-enough MF-on-IE7 user to be the best data point.

And I'm as Firefox-lovin' a dude as anyone else, on both my PCs and Macs, but I love the snide attitude people here (and elsewhere) have that Firefox is some panacea to all that ails everyone. I mean, it's got its own raft of crashing bugs, memory leaks, rendering issues, security problems, and the like... and as someone who literally spends more than half his waking hours in browsers of all shapes and sizes, my perspective is that telling someone that Firefox will solve their IE problems is just giving that person another set of problems to learn, and to work around.

posted by delfuego at 9:23 AM on December 31, 2007

I'm just glad the gold bar--er, information bar--is keeping you all safe from whatever this thing is. :)
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:38 AM on December 31, 2007 [1 favorite]

I've not seen that, but I get javascript errors all the time if I visit MF in IE. That's been going on for years though, so I always assumed it was an unfixable issue or something that nobody could be arsed fixing fue to pretentious browser wars issues.
posted by Artw at 9:57 AM on December 31, 2007

As a Mac user, I appreciate Firefox's support in the never-ending platform wars. Firefox not only makes IE look bad, it also makes Safari look good. They sure are clever, those free software guys.
posted by ryanrs at 2:32 AM on January 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

Could it have been this McAfee problem? Pro-tip: If you use McAfee, stop. It's crap.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:01 PM on January 3, 2008

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