[SATLUG] Verizon feeding ads on URL errors

Bruce Dubbs bruce.dubbs at gmail.com
Mon Jun 2 16:01:27 CDT 2008

Don Crowder wrote:
> When I make an error in typing a URL into the browser address bar I get 
> a page of garbage from Verizon instead of an ordinary "page not found" 
> page.  For example, here's a screenshot of the page I get if I manually 
> type in the URL for google but leave out the 'dot' before the 'com':
> http://www.don-guitar.com/photos/vz-url-error.png
> I'm really annoyed about this but I'm also aware than I haven't enough 
> education to understand the full implications of what's taking place so 
> I'd greatly appreciate a newbie-friendly analysis with an explanation of 
> the ramifications.
> Yes, in case you're wondering, I'm trying to take advantage of your IT 
> knowledge and experience (since I have almost none) but if I use the 
> information in my ezine or a blog rant I'll give you due credit.  :)

What is happening is that your ISPs DNS server is redirecting your DNS query. 
You can probably fix the problem with using a different DNS server as specified 
in /etc/resolv.conf.

To test, try

   dig googlecom

You should get

;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NXDOMAIN, ...

and not an ip address.

Two issues though.  If you are using DHCP, you need to make sure that 
/etc/resolv.conf is not overwritten every time you boot up by the dhcp client.

Also, I don't know of a public DNS server that would accommodate anyone.  Others 
may have a good suggestion.  You have to trust the DNS server because if it 
gives you the wrong ip address for a site, that would be pretty hard to 
distinguish and the odds of successful phishing would go up quite a bit.

   -- Bruce

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