IE homepage changed to MSN

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by joe_90, May 15, 2004.

  1. joe_90

    joe_90 Guest

    I have my home page set to 'blank', but a few days back I noticed that I
    was being taken to MSN. Thought nothing more of it until someone else
    experienced the same.

    I'm beginning to suspect a recent windows update as that is the only
    time I run IE.

    Anyone else had their IE homepage mysteriously reset to MSN recently?
    joe_90, May 15, 2004
    #1
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  2. In article <Ekipc.2133$>, joe_90
    _remove@nospam_zipmail.co.nz says...
    > I have my home page set to 'blank', but a few days back I noticed that I
    > was being taken to MSN. Thought nothing more of it until someone else
    > experienced the same.
    >
    > I'm beginning to suspect a recent windows update as that is the only
    > time I run IE.
    >
    > Anyone else had their IE homepage mysteriously reset to MSN recently?


    There are two ways IE can ignore the setting. If you have just installed
    an updated version of IE, the first time you run it, it takes you to a
    Microsoft web page and asks if you want to make this your home page or
    keep your current setting. This could be the one you're referring to.

    The other one is if you have it set to check for a new version
    automatically, then it goes to Windows Update when you open it.

    IIRC www.msn.com is the assigned default home page for an IE
    installation.
    Patrick Dunford, May 15, 2004
    #2
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  3. joe_90

    Jason M Guest

    On Sat, 15 May 2004 17:58:49 +1200, joe_90
    <joe_90_remove@nospam_zipmail.co.nz> wrote:

    >I have my home page set to 'blank', but a few days back I noticed that I
    >was being taken to MSN. Thought nothing more of it until someone else
    >experienced the same.
    >
    >I'm beginning to suspect a recent windows update as that is the only
    >time I run IE.
    >
    >Anyone else had their IE homepage mysteriously reset to MSN recently?


    Yes, several times. I installed a patch for Win98SE, perhaps that did
    it.
    Jason M, May 15, 2004
    #3
  4. joe_90

    joe_90 Guest

    Patrick Dunford wrote:
    > There are two ways IE can ignore the setting. If you have just installed
    > an updated version of IE, the first time you run it, it takes you to a
    > Microsoft web page and asks if you want to make this your home page or
    > keep your current setting. This could be the one you're referring to.


    Nope. From memory, the first invocation after an IE update takes you to
    an IE related MS web page, not to MSN, and does not change your home
    page setting.


    Thanks for the suggestions Patrick. However, I should have worded my
    explanation more carefully as I can see I have mislead you slightly.

    My IE home page is /normally/ set to 'blank' but something /changes/
    this to a non trivial URL on the MSN site. Invoking IE takes me to the
    home page as set - my issue is that the setting has been changed.

    I realise it is trivial to restore the home page setting, but I'd like
    to know if others have encountered this in order to isolate the cause.
    joe_90, May 15, 2004
    #4
  5. joe_90

    steve Guest

    joe_90 wrote:
    > I have my home page set to 'blank', but a few days back I noticed that I
    > was being taken to MSN. Thought nothing more of it until someone else
    > experienced the same.
    >
    > I'm beginning to suspect a recent windows update as that is the only
    > time I run IE.
    >
    > Anyone else had their IE homepage mysteriously reset to MSN recently?


    If you ever get tired of that crap......just switch to Mozilla.
    steve, May 15, 2004
    #5
  6. In article <r5mpc.2200$>, joe_90
    _remove@nospam_zipmail.co.nz says...
    > Patrick Dunford wrote:
    > > There are two ways IE can ignore the setting. If you have just installed
    > > an updated version of IE, the first time you run it, it takes you to a
    > > Microsoft web page and asks if you want to make this your home page or
    > > keep your current setting. This could be the one you're referring to.

    >
    > Nope. From memory, the first invocation after an IE update takes you to
    > an IE related MS web page, not to MSN, and does not change your home
    > page setting.
    >
    >
    > Thanks for the suggestions Patrick. However, I should have worded my
    > explanation more carefully as I can see I have mislead you slightly.
    >
    > My IE home page is /normally/ set to 'blank' but something /changes/
    > this to a non trivial URL on the MSN site. Invoking IE takes me to the
    > home page as set - my issue is that the setting has been changed.


    Is the home page setting in Options changed? IE has the ability to ignore
    the home page setting and take you to a page of its own in the two cases
    I just mentioned.
    Patrick Dunford, May 15, 2004
    #6
  7. joe_90

    Gavin Tunney Guest

    On Sat, 15 May 2004 17:58:49 +1200, joe_90
    <joe_90_remove@nospam_zipmail.co.nz> wrote:

    >I have my home page set to 'blank', but a few days back I noticed that I
    >was being taken to MSN. Thought nothing more of it until someone else
    >experienced the same.
    >
    >I'm beginning to suspect a recent windows update as that is the only
    >time I run IE.
    >
    >Anyone else had their IE homepage mysteriously reset to MSN recently?


    Latest version of Adaware does that... thinks the 'blank' is an
    attempted home page hijack.

    Gavin
    Gavin Tunney, May 15, 2004
    #7
  8. joe_90

    Enkidu Guest

    On Sat, 15 May 2004 22:15:28 +1200, joe_90
    <joe_90_remove@nospam_zipmail.co.nz> wrote:
    >
    >Thanks for the suggestions Patrick. However, I should have worded my
    >explanation more carefully as I can see I have mislead you slightly.
    >
    >My IE home page is /normally/ set to 'blank' but something /changes/
    >this to a non trivial URL on the MSN site. Invoking IE takes me to the
    >home page as set - my issue is that the setting has been changed.
    >
    >I realise it is trivial to restore the home page setting, but I'd like
    >to know if others have encountered this in order to isolate the cause.
    >

    Try setting it to "about:blank". Nature and MS IE abhor a vaccuum.

    Cheers,

    Cliff
    Enkidu, May 15, 2004
    #8
  9. joe_90

    joe_90 Guest

    Patrick Dunford wrote:
    > Is the home page setting in Options changed?


    Yes. I always have it set to "about:blank" but this somehow changed to
    an MSN page.

    I had assumed it was caused by a recent windows update (as that is all I
    use IE for), but not so sure now as very few others are reporting this
    behaviour.

    Odd, but I'm not going to lose sleep over it :)
    joe_90, May 16, 2004
    #9
  10. joe_90

    joe_90 Guest

    steve wrote:
    > If you ever get tired of that crap......just switch to Mozilla.


    You're preaching to the converted - I use Firefox.
    joe_90, May 16, 2004
    #10
  11. joe_90

    joe_90 Guest

    Gavin Tunney wrote:
    > Latest version of Adaware does that... thinks the 'blank' is an
    > attempted home page hijack.


    Thanks Gavin - I use both AdAware and Spybot.

    However, this is my sloppy description again - when I said 'blank' I
    should have said "about:blank" (without the quotes!).
    joe_90, May 16, 2004
    #11
  12. joe_90

    Gavin Tunney Guest

    On Sun, 16 May 2004 17:31:53 +1200, joe_90
    <joe_90_remove@nospam_zipmail.co.nz> wrote:

    >Gavin Tunney wrote:
    >> Latest version of Adaware does that... thinks the 'blank' is an
    >> attempted home page hijack.

    >
    >Thanks Gavin - I use both AdAware and Spybot.
    >
    >However, this is my sloppy description again - when I said 'blank' I
    >should have said "about:blank" (without the quotes!).


    That's what I meant too. I use about:blank as my home page as well and
    the latest Adaware resets it to http://www.msn.com if I let it. There
    is a homepage hijack that uses about:blank to display a pile of
    advertising, no idea how it works but I saw it on a PC recently.

    Not many people use the blank homepage. Don't know why, it's a lot
    more convenient IMO... makes IE load fast.

    Cheers

    Gavin
    Gavin Tunney, May 16, 2004
    #12
  13. joe_90

    joe_90 Guest

    Gavin Tunney wrote:
    > That's what I meant too. I use about:blank as my home page as well and
    > the latest Adaware resets it to http://www.msn.com if I let it. There
    > is a homepage hijack that uses about:blank to display a pile of
    > advertising, no idea how it works but I saw it on a PC recently.
    >
    > Not many people use the blank homepage. Don't know why, it's a lot
    > more convenient IMO... makes IE load fast.


    You're right!

    I just ran an AdAware scan and it pulled up two new objects. One was a
    cookie and the other was an innocuous looking entry described as a
    'possible browser hijack attempt'. Select 'Item details' on the latter
    to obtain the following explanation -

    Vendor:possible Browser Hijack attempt
    Category:Malware
    Object Type:RegData
    Size:-
    Location:Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main "Start Page"
    ("about:blank")
    Last Activity:16-05-04
    Risk LevelMedium
    Comment:possible browser hijack attempt
    Description:possible attempt to control\redirect the browser. This
    object referrs to a "blacklisted" site.


    That'll teach me to just accept AdAware's recommendations without
    checking the fine detail. You did /very/ well to spot that one!

    So, even IE's blank home page setting is open to abuse - you've got to
    admire the ingenuity.

    Many thanks Gavin for clearing up that nagging oddity.
    joe_90, May 16, 2004
    #13
  14. joe_90

    Divine Guest

    On Sun, 16 May 2004 18:37:40 +1200, joe_90 wrote:

    > So, even IE's blank home page setting is open to abuse - you've got to
    > admire the ingenuity.


    So why do you keep on using such a crappy and insecure piece of software?


    Divine

    --
    The Queen's Mother: "Well I don't know what all you queens are doing,
    but this old Queen wants a drink."
    Divine, May 16, 2004
    #14
  15. joe_90

    Enkidu Guest

    On Sun, 16 May 2004 17:23:34 +1200, joe_90
    <joe_90_remove@nospam_zipmail.co.nz> wrote:

    >steve wrote:
    >> If you ever get tired of that crap......just switch to Mozilla.

    >
    >You're preaching to the converted - I use Firefox.
    >

    I use Opera, IE and FireFox. All run fine with no crashes. Mozilla
    crashes frequently. I wouldn't use it at all except that some other
    people use it and comment how "good" it is.

    Cheers,

    Cliff
    Enkidu, May 16, 2004
    #15
  16. joe_90

    Divine Guest

    On Sun, 16 May 2004 19:35:56 +1200, Enkidu wrote:

    > I use Opera, IE and FireFox. All run fine with no crashes. Mozilla crashes
    > frequently.


    What?

    What version of Mozilla are you using?

    I haven't had a crash using Mozilla since version 1.2 .


    Divine

    --
    The Queen's Mother: "Well I don't know what all you queens are doing,
    but this old Queen wants a drink."
    Divine, May 16, 2004
    #16
  17. joe_90

    joe_90 Guest

    Divine wrote:
    > So why do you keep on using such a crappy and insecure piece of software?


    If you're referring to IE, I don't - except to run Windows Update.

    If you're referring to MS Windows, I need to be employable ;-)

    Why do you use such a crappy ISP?
    joe_90, May 16, 2004
    #17
  18. joe_90

    Enkidu Guest

    On Sun, 16 May 2004 19:51:36 +1200, Divine <>
    wrote:

    >On Sun, 16 May 2004 19:35:56 +1200, Enkidu wrote:
    >
    >> I use Opera, IE and FireFox. All run fine with no crashes. Mozilla crashes
    >> frequently.

    >
    >What?
    >
    >What version of Mozilla are you using?
    >
    >I haven't had a crash using Mozilla since version 1.2 .
    >

    1.3.1

    Cheers,

    Cliff
    Enkidu, May 16, 2004
    #18
  19. joe_90

    Jason M Guest

    On Sun, 16 May 2004 18:37:40 +1200, joe_90
    <joe_90_remove@nospam_zipmail.co.nz> wrote:

    >Gavin Tunney wrote:
    >> That's what I meant too. I use about:blank as my home page as well and
    >> the latest Adaware resets it to http://www.msn.com if I let it. There
    >> is a homepage hijack that uses about:blank to display a pile of
    >> advertising, no idea how it works but I saw it on a PC recently.
    >>
    >> Not many people use the blank homepage. Don't know why, it's a lot
    >> more convenient IMO... makes IE load fast.

    >
    >You're right!
    >
    >I just ran an AdAware scan and it pulled up two new objects. One was a
    >cookie and the other was an innocuous looking entry described as a
    >'possible browser hijack attempt'. Select 'Item details' on the latter
    >to obtain the following explanation -
    >
    >Vendor:possible Browser Hijack attempt
    >Category:Malware
    >Object Type:RegData
    >Size:-
    >Location:Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main "Start Page"
    >("about:blank")
    >Last Activity:16-05-04
    >Risk LevelMedium
    >Comment:possible browser hijack attempt
    >Description:possible attempt to control\redirect the browser. This
    >object referrs to a "blacklisted" site.
    >
    >
    >That'll teach me to just accept AdAware's recommendations without
    >checking the fine detail. You did /very/ well to spot that one!
    >
    >So, even IE's blank home page setting is open to abuse - you've got to
    >admire the ingenuity.
    >
    >Many thanks Gavin for clearing up that nagging oddity.


    What does that all mean? I've just tried it myself.
    I checked that IE had a blank start page, then ran Adaware, which
    found a "possible hijack attempt" and after I allow Adaware to "fix"
    it, IE is now set to go to http://www.msn.com/

    So Adaware has been causing the problem then?
    Who's going to tell Lavasoft?
    Jason M, May 16, 2004
    #19
  20. joe_90

    Divine Guest

    On Sun, 16 May 2004 20:09:55 +1200, joe_90 wrote:

    > Divine wrote:
    >> So why do you keep on using such a crappy and insecure piece of
    >> software?

    >
    > If you're referring to IE, I don't - except to run Windows Update.
    >
    > If you're referring to MS Windows, I need to be employable ;-)
    >
    > Why do you use such a crappy ISP?


    It's cheap enough and it's available, and I've actually not had a problem
    with it.


    Divine

    --
    The Queen's Mother: "Well I don't know what all you queens are doing,
    but this old Queen wants a drink."
    Divine, May 16, 2004
    #20
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