Comcast adopts DNS hijacking, cashes in on bad URLs

By Justin Mann on August 6, 2009, 9:42 AM
In a bid to squeeze out more cash through their existing service, one of the largest ISPs around has added themselves to the ranks of companies participating in controversial DNS-redirecting programs. Comcast has officially begun redirecting invalid DNS requests to their own “search portals,” which are advertising pages intended to capture anyone who makes a typo or visits an invalid address into a web browser.

The technique is slowly being adopted by other ISPs around the world, and has been rife with controversy since the beginning. Essentially, anytime a user tries to visit an invalid web page, they are redirected to an advertising splash page rather than being told that the page is unavailable. As most other ISPs are doing, Comcast is offering an opt-out system – though there have been complaints that the process is not particularly friendly. Other ISPs around the world that have begun implementing this include Bell Canada, Verizon, and EarthLink.

Several years ago, Verisign, a major domain registrar, attempted to implement this. Their attempt received massive public outcry, and ultimately even ICANN stepped in and asked them to stop. Comcast has even gone a step beyond their cohorts, pushing for a new IETF standard that would make such DNS hijacking more legitimate.




User Comments: 14

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jobeard jobeard, TS Ambassador, said:

You can circumvent this kind of stuff by using the OpenDNS servers instead of

the ones provided by the ISP.

In your TCP settings, click Use the following DNS Server Addresses

and insert

208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220

details are found at https://www.opendns.com/start/

Guest said:

Comcast is an evil little empire with a lot of extra cash which the company uses to buy state and federal regulators as well as Congressmen. What Comcast wants, Comcast gets: laws, customers, and morality be damned.

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

You can circumvent this kind of stuff by using the OpenDNS servers instead of

the ones provided by the ISP.

Why? They do the same thing that Comcast is doing (serving you sponsored results when a domain doesn't resolve).

There's no reason to use a service like OpenDNS unless you need the content filtering options. Otherwise, I'd probably use a backbone's public DNS like Level3.

JudaZ said:

I'm once again so happy I dont live in the US.

Capped traffic, high prices at slow speeds and now this...its sad to see the US is falling further and further behind.

Guest said:

What the heck are you talking about? I hate these kind of ignorant statements that are only intended to elevator the poster while pawning off some load of BS as if it is the truth.

I guarantee you dont have faster or cheaper service than me--and Im in New York. We invented the internet--remember that doofus

JudaZ said:

Guest said:

What the heck are you talking about? I hate these kind of ignorant statements that are only intended to elevator the poster while pawning off some load of BS as if it is the truth.

I guarantee you dont have faster or cheaper service than me--and Im in New York. We invented the internet--remember that doofus

...well Ford "invented" massproductions of cars, hows that working for ya'?

..no but seriously.

maybe you have faster and cheaper internet, but its hard to tell without you posting a price and a speed and details if you have any CAP on the service.

Me I pay about $27 a month for a Static IP, no limits what so ever (on data transfer, services aloud and so on) and 100/100MBit transfer rate.

Sure its still a bit slow, but soon they hopefully will turn up the speed in my area.

JudaZ said:

so Guest, what do you pay, and for what service? (In you home, not at work)

JudaZ said:

...since the article is about Comcast, if you look at prices for HD triple play standard. its $114 a month. They really dont like to talk about what speed I would get on their page, they just say highspeed internet, but what speed is that?? for a similar service for me would be about $37.

So how am i beeing ignorant?

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

where are you from JudaZ?

Guest said:

Comcast currently has standard service at 20mbps downstream, so for the $114 you mentioned that is phone service, basic TV, and internet. Do your research before you speak about that which you do not know, it will save you from looking like a fool.

JudaZ said:

"20mbps downstream" ok thats slow. And if you learn how to read you will see that i told you I can get that för about $37

Digital TV HD quality + Internet (But 100/100Mbit) + phone (who ever still uses that)

$37 is less then $114 last time I checked...so what is making me look like a fool?

I can get better service for a lower price .. a lot lower price.

...so how have you proven me wrong? Why should I look like a fool?

Seems more like you do...

JudaZ said:

by the way Guest ... still havnt answered the question, what do you pay since you said "I guarantee you dont have faster or cheaper service than me--and Im in New York"

..so what speed do you have, and what do you pay?

Guest said:

comcast offers 'up to' 12mb/s and 'up to' 14 mb/s, and there's a current promotion which supposedly 'doubled' that speed in our area (jacksonville, FL, US)

my current speed tests show about 15~16 mb/s download speeds, and 6~7 mb/s upload speeds... but these are much better than usual, for this household.

Comcast is horrible about cutting back bandwith depending on the usage, despite paying a flat monthly rate (just internet and tv for us, no phone). For instance, on some days i can be playing xbox live with absolutely no problems, then a few hours later i will start having host connection problems, terrible lag, and eventually be unable to connect. I hear the same thing from my friends who also subscribe under comcast here.

NOW TO CORRECT YOUR ARGUMENTATIVE MATH~~~

100/100 (redundant) also known as simply 100 MBPS which is exactly equal to 12.5 MB/s

our internet is measured in MB/s, yours mbit or mbps (same thing, different abbreviation)

the address below gives you a nifty little comparison bar and then values as to what that equals in different scales/units.

source:

[link] [Unmetered+Server]

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