Viglink public warning

By upgrayedd ยท 15 replies
Mar 30, 2013
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  1. It seems this site uses viglink to get commission from posting links. When you copy and past a link that has been posted you won't see the original URL but some long "scary" url that could be mistaken as some sort of malware threat. Since, this site deals with fixing malware problems, I think you should alert people of this because some people could confuse viglink as some sort of problem originating from this website.
  2. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,922   +630

    Can you provide screenshots or something? I haven't seen this. URLs are full in-text, full when hovering over it, and full when clicked on. There is no middle-man for me.
    upgrayedd likes this.
  3. upgrayedd

    upgrayedd TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 71

    If you hover over the link it will show the direct link but when you copy a link and paste it, it will show something like this:

    I discussed this issue with Broni on my issue in the malware subforum

    I discussed it on the last 2-3 pages on the topic. He thought it had something to do with this website but I thought it was very odd. I now think this is some sort of problem as no one seems to know what I am talking about. Can someone please confirm?
  4. upgrayedd

    upgrayedd TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 71

    I first noticed this problem when I copied and pasted the alternative download link for OTL on post #29
  5. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,922   +630

    I've never seen that on this website.
    upgrayedd likes this.
  6. upgrayedd

    upgrayedd TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 71

    Thank you for replying St1ckm4n. I am worried about this issue and none of the moderators have responded. I know some forums do this to make money, that's fine by me but I need to know if this is an actual problem or just some secret affiliate program this forum uses. I have been trying to fix a friends laptop with your guys help and I am supposed to give it back to her tomorrow, she lives far away and I need to know whats going on before I give her back her laptop. I don't know what to do. Please, can someone who is a moderator or anyone can shed some light on this mystery? Thank you.
  7. upgrayedd

    upgrayedd TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 71

    I am very worried about this. I posted this issue on Saturday and soon it will be Wednesday. My friend is traveling very far tomorrow just to pick up her computer and I don't know what I should do. She does not have that much free time and she is never really available. With Broni's guidance, I have been working on this laptop for over a month and I just want to give back to her a clean laptop. It seems everything is working correctly and resolved except for this one remaining unanswered issue. I am worried that I will not have an answer by the time she comes over. I am not sure if the moderators watch this subforum because I have not gotten a response in 3 days. I don't know who or how I can contact them. Please Help.
  8. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,922   +630

    Yeah, it would be good to get some other user feedback on this. I'm sure an admin could confirm/deny it outright.

    I've browsed TS on at least 5 machines, all different browsers, and have never seen it. I'd say it's a hijacked browser/PC on your end, but better to be sure hey. :)
    upgrayedd likes this.
  9. upgrayedd

    upgrayedd TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 71

    Thank you so much for replying St1ck4n! It could seem that the moderators are not responding because I may have in fact solved this mystery. If you look at the source for any page on this forum there are references for a viglink javascript. I wish they could have just told me they are affiliated with viglink and not have made it such a secret. I have no problems with that, you need to make money somehow. However, I think that it is wrong for not disclosing this information to anyone and not responding to my posts. I am very surprised that I am the only one who found out about this. Please do not ban me for uncovering this. I was just very concerned that something on her computer was hijacking the links.

    <script type="text/javascript">
    var vglnk = { api_url: '//',
    key: '552a35ca1eb1421626a0f973ac2a90af' };

    (function(d, t) {
    var s = d.createElement(t); s.type = 'text/javascript'; s.async = true;
    s.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? vglnk.api_url :
    '//') + '/vglnk.js';
    var r = d.getElementsByTagName(t)[0]; r.parentNode.insertBefore(s, r);
    }(document, 'script'));
    St1ckM4n likes this.
  10. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,668   +988

    Upgradyedd, you happened to post during a long weekend so most people were away.

    I had seen your message earlier today but I honestly thought you had already figured out we were using Viglink, which in a nutshell adds affiliate codes to merchant URLs automatically (Amazon, Newegg, etc). This is not malware, and many, many forums use it.

    There are two companies that do this widely, one called Skimlinks and the other called Viglink. None are obscure but highly regarded startups, the latter was even funded by Google Ventures. Anyhow, this is the first time someone brings this up in the two years or so we've been running this program and I hope it poses no confusion in the future. Either that or a search will bring up this topic :)
    upgrayedd, learninmypc and St1ckM4n like this.
  11. upgrayedd

    upgrayedd TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 71

    Thank you for replying and for posting that explanation. That was what I thought initially, however as you can see even an experienced user such as St1ckM4n was unaware of this and even he thought it was something malicious. I was not trying to accuse anyone but from my perspective it seemed that the admins/mods were avoiding me. Like I said earlier, since this is a forum where people go for malware issues people could mistake viglink as something malicious. I am glad you are going to keep this post up so people who are not familiar with viglink will not be confused by it. When your looking for malicious problems and you see your links are not direct it could bring up some red flags.
  12. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,922   +630

    I'm aware of linked content for products, e.g. you mention an item, and the ad agency software automatically inserts a link to an Amazon shop page. However, I've never seen that before and I don't even see it on the example you mentioned. :(

    Post #29, OTL link from this thread (that you said), this is what I get when hovering. I don't use adblock or anything, just standard Opera haha.

  13. upgrayedd

    upgrayedd TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 71

    I only see it easily detectable on certain computers using certain browsers some of the time.
  14. Jay Pfoutz

    Jay Pfoutz Malware Helper Posts: 4,282   +49

    URLs on this site will go to their exact destination, however, there is an affiliate referral URL service, called Viglink. This service automatically uses its API to attach the affiliate code cookie to your browser, which will then allow the referring website (TechSpot) to get affiliate commission for the product/service being purchased. This is the method of control that webmasters may have over their website.
  15. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,957   +214

    You will actually only see the link if you rightclick and select "Copy Link Address" and then paste that into the address field or whatever you choose...
    St1ckM4n likes this.
  16. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    Confirmed... it is a redirected url.
    visually on screen it reads http:/
    copyNpaste and you see:

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