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When I'm using Chrome I'm getting fullscreen popup advertising even on sites that I am certain do not have it. I see the web site it is trying to load is "www.openadserving.com" in the status bar.

I suspect this is some kind of browser or OS virus.

How can I deal with this on Ubuntu? Is there some tool I can run to detect the virus? Or can I totally reinstall Chrome somehow?

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did you recently install any software or browser add-ons? –  ImaginaryRobots Feb 18 '13 at 17:38
    
I tried reinstalling the google-chrome-stable package (purge). Didnt work. I then did it again but this time deleted .cache/chrome too. This has fixed it. I had not recently installed any plugins. Somehow a web site must have "infected" the browser through javascript. –  Andrew Tomazos Feb 19 '13 at 1:34
    
If that fixed the issue, go ahead and post it as an answer to your question, then mark it as the solution. –  ImaginaryRobots Feb 19 '13 at 19:33

1 Answer 1

You haven't provided sufficient information to identify the problem accurately, but the following suggestions may help to identify or even hopefully solve it:

  1. You can open your hosts file (enter this command in terminal: gksu gedit /etc/hosts) and enter this line at the bottom: 127.0.0.1 www.openadserving.com As this will prevent all connection between this site and your computer after restart, this might solve your problem or if it doesn't, then;
  2. You can try a program like Net Activity Viewer to see a list of sites your browser is being connected, and add all undesirable addresses there as in the step 1.
  3. You can try using a utility like hostsblock to prevent connection to such sites in general. (This utility can be downloaded and manually installed from ArchLinux repositories with just one minor modification, replacing pathname /etc/rc.d with /etc/init.d in these files: hostsblock.sh, hostsblock-urlcheck.sh and rc.conf)
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This is a prevention, but not a cure. The question is why is it trying to connect to openadserving.com in the first place. The sites I was visiting were clean. Somehow the browser was "infected" with the popup advertising. –  Andrew Tomazos Feb 19 '13 at 1:36
    
I know but prevention is always better than cure ;-) I'm glad you've found the cure: deleting all your browser's cache. So maybe it's time to focus on prevention ;-) I'm currently working on making a deb package of hostsblock which I intend to place on launchpad soon. –  Sadi Feb 19 '13 at 8:30
    
Sorry I meant this treats the symptoms but not the disease. Preventing the DNS lookup might hide the popups but whatever malware is causing those lookups to occur in the first place is still present. –  Andrew Tomazos Feb 19 '13 at 13:24
    
I don't understand, after you have managed to remove the culprit malware from your computer (by clearing the entire browser cache as you said), you should be OK now (both symptoms and disease are gone now) as long as you prevent such malware infecting your computer gain. And blocking all connection to potentially harmful sites provides a good protection (disease prevention). The virus may still be out there but cannot reach you. But if you mean total and absolute protection, I doubt that it's possible. We have to be always vigilant about safe browsing measures. –  Sadi Feb 19 '13 at 16:37

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