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Communications The Internet Technology

Cox Comm. Injects Code Into Web Traffic To Announce Email Outage 271

Posted by timothy
from the sorta-clever-but-only-sorta dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Cox Communications appears to be injecting JavaScript and HTML into subscribers' traffic, as part of their effort to announce an email service outage. Pictures showing the popup."
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Cox Comm. Injects Code Into Web Traffic To Announce Email Outage

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 15, 2012 @05:38PM (#42303877)

    Who knows what else they are injecting.....

  • Re:Is this News? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pedrito (94783) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @05:48PM (#42303941) Homepage
    No, not like this. At least I've never seen it before. This is intrusive. I've had it show up in my browser at least 3 times in the past couple of hours and it's about a service I don't even use. I don't care if their e-mail is out. I don't use their e-mail. I don't want this stuff and there ought to be a simple way to opt out.
  • Re:Is this News? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sabri (584428) * on Saturday December 15, 2012 @05:54PM (#42303977)

    No, not like this. At least I've never seen it before. This is intrusive. I've had it show up in my browser at least 3 times in the past couple of hours and it's about a service I don't even use. I don't care if their e-mail is out. I don't use their e-mail. I don't want this stuff and there ought to be a simple way to opt out.

    There is, it is called: Vote With Your Money...

  • Re:Is this News? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mwvdlee (775178) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @05:55PM (#42303993) Homepage

    there ought to be a simple way to opt in.

    FTFY

  • Well, DUH! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Crypto Gnome (651401) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @06:01PM (#42304035) Homepage Journal
    Obviously Cox are a bunch of DICKS.

    It's your own fault for not realising it.

    For those who wonder why people think this is EXTREMELY POOR FORM:
    - Their ability to do this is based on them intercepting all your HTTP data, all the time, every day - insert massive invasion of privacy yadda yadda etc etc etc
  • Re:Is this News? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by guttentag (313541) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @06:06PM (#42304079) Journal
    It's the modern equivalent of the phone company playing a recorded message while you are talking to someone on the phone. Or the post office opening your mail and gluing a message to the contents, ransom-note-style, about your mail carrier being out sick. It wouldn't happen. But cox wants to condition people to think of the web like cable TV, where thy can cover part of the picture with service announcements. The FCC needs to weigh in on this and stop it.
  • Re:Illegal? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @06:08PM (#42304101)

    I'm not certain, but isn't there a law against messing with your packet stream, and inserting their own content?

    There used to be. Nowadays is the law is basically "You, pathetic peon citizen. Them, corporation. They win."

  • Raise your hand.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by claar (126368) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @06:15PM (#42304135)

    Yep, I received this too, right on Netflix. Um, thanks, Cox, but even if I used your email service, I'd really rather watch my movie..

    Keep your hands off my traffic, please. Is it too much to ask for you to simply carry my bits back and forth for the agreed-upon amount?

  • Re:What a crap (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DarkTempes (822722) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @06:23PM (#42304197)

    You'll care when your ISP starts doing this because no one cared when it happened to others...

    First they inject for "emergency notifications" and then next they'll inject for "advertisements to keep your bill down" or something even worse.

  • Re:Is this News? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sjames (1099) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @06:51PM (#42304343) Homepage

    That and they need someone to deliver the last leg on unprofitable routs. More privatized profits and socialized losses.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 15, 2012 @06:52PM (#42304347)

    I've seen a lot of people suggest "just use Google DNS", but frankly it's a disturbing trend (unless, naturally, your existing DNS provider is even less trustworthy.)

    By using Google's recursive DNS servers you should be aware that you're offering them even more information about your online habits, as if they probably didn't have enough already. I'm pretty sure that a capitalist [telegraph.co.uk] company like Google isn't offering free recursive DNS for purely altruistic purposes (or just to 'speed up browsing').

    It's also no secret that Google are proposing including the original source IP in EDNS in recursive lookups too, again obstensively for routing edge services, but of course it also has that side effect of offering all that extra juicy information to slurp up.

    Before I get jumped on as a troll, I'm not anti-Google or pro-anything else, I'm not suggesting you run away from Google and use $competitor, which basically is a choice of no difference, I'm just saying before you decide to move all your services over like that, just think about the disconcerting amount of trust being placed in a company that is in the business of getting as much personal information about you as possible for their ad networks.

  • Bad practice.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nezic (151658) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @07:21PM (#42304511)

    So now internet companies are essentially trying to train users to trust whatever information shows up on a web page that claims to be from 'known' sources?

    After all the problems that spoof emails cause for people who don't know better, you'd think an internet provider *would* know better.

  • by X0563511 (793323) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @07:28PM (#42304551) Homepage Journal

    Yea, it's obnoxiously slow because the images haven't been compressed to shit.

    They are trying to hide that your connection is garbage.

    I have Sprint myself. Horribly slow.

  • Re:Is this News? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by paiute (550198) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @07:28PM (#42304553)
    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/post-office-default-11215023 [esquire.com]

    "In other words, we can no longer have nice things from what is still, in theory, our government, because we have placed what is still, in theory, our government into the hands of vandals and madmen, so the solution is to hand everything over to a private sector that repeatedly has shown that, in the pursuit of an extra nickel in profits, it would sell your grandmother to the Somali pirates and drill an oil-well in Lincoln's nose on Mount Rushmore."
  • by billstewart (78916) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @07:35PM (#42304587) Journal

    I'm sorry, but if you're injecting Javascript and other text into my web sessions, that's a Web Outage (and a serious security threat.) If you're doing it to announce that your email service is down, that's probably annoying to customers who do use your email service, and much more annoying to customers who don't.

    (Unlike many people here, I actually do use my ISP's email service, because it includes a shell account where I'm running procmail, in addition to the spam filtering they do, so email that gets forwarded by my primary email address does go through there. But otherwise I'd be running the filters somewhere else. And it still doesn't justify breaking my http sessions.)

  • Re:Is this News? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by martin-boundary (547041) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @09:25PM (#42305049)
    Wrong. Injecting HTML code into an HTTP stream breaks the end-to-end principle. With HTML5 being as complex as it already is and web apps doing all sorts of Weird JavaScript Shit(TM), there is no way anyone can guarantee that adding HTML snippets _anywhere_ won't break a user's session. This isn't fixable on the user end, this is buggy behaviour in the network.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 16, 2012 @02:33AM (#42306025)

    Actually it's far more invasive than that, it means they actually LISTEN to the phone conversation and choose the correct GAP in that conversation to inject their javascript. They don't just randomly shove in javascript into a HTTP socket, they have to be watching the traffic.

    So they're giving themselves the basis for monitoring your URL surfing later too.

    So when they inject adverts, or sell your surfing habits to others, they can point to this and point out that they've been monitoring web surfing and injecting message 'for service quality purposes' for a long time. And thus the change is actually minor, because you like quality service don't you?

    Remember phone logs? Tony Blair demanded that phone records for everyone be kept for 2 years and available on demand, he pushed it through the EU when the UK had the chair. His argument was that 'this data is already kept for billing purposes so it changes nothing'. So he opened the basis for spying on everyone, just in case sometime in future they commit a crime. And his lawyer game was, "well it's recorded for billing" so it's only a minor change. The minor change being to keep it for 2 years and replace the warrant with a RIPA letter from one of Murdochs employees in the police.

    Your surfing is already monitored, so it makes no difference if we also monitor it on behalf of Govt/RIAA/Voting Corp/Marketing Corp/Fox News/News International...

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