I went to Network Solutions to do a WHOIS lookup on a domain name today. I noticed that a popup arrived that AdSubtract failed to capture. After I was done with my lookup, I went to report the page to AdSubtract so that they could add it to their list of filters.
Funny thing was, even though the IE button was on my toolbar, I could not get to the page. I would click the button, and rather than restoring, the button would slide off the task bar. If I used Alt-Tab, I could select the icon, but the page would not show up.
I finally right clicked over the button and chose Maximize. Got a big white page that says: NetworkSolutions Consumer Insight
Notice the url: http://www.networksolutions.com/en_US/popexit/popstealth.html. Network Solutions is being pretty sneaky.
When I closed the main browser, a popup window jumped out. Apparently this “stealth” window is used to create a popup, bypassing the usual popup mechanisms. The main window opens it, it hides itself. When the main window closes, it tells the stealth window to do it’s thing, which is to display some ad content (that Adsubtract blissfully hid from me).
I have no respect for Network Solutions, and have not for some time. I occasionally use their services, such as WHOIS, but I do not register domain names through them anymore, nor do I recommend them to anyone else. This is the kind of company that I least want to imitate. I’m going to use someone else’s WHOIS lookup from now on, maybe even stub Network Solutions out of my HOSTS file.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go finish reporting Network Solutions to AdSubtract’s database.