Web hijacking by router - a new method of advertisement by Belkin

william at elan.net william at elan.net
Sat Nov 8 06:32:25 UTC 2003

On Fri, 7 Nov 2003, Bradley Dunn wrote:

> Peter Galbavy wrote:
> > I hope that the US - the largest single market for technology products I
> > assume - has a similar bunch of useful [consumer] law.
> I don't. Who needs a bunch of laws (and accompanying bureaucrats and 
> lawyers) when market pressure dealt with the issue quickly and forcefully.
No doubt. But still it should have been clear to them this is not allowed 
in the first place... And besides that haven't we just seen how "market 
pressure" works in case of Verisign where there were getting millions of 
dollars of extra income and did not care what others say!

Btw - here is Belkin's apology posted on usenet:

"From: Eric Deming (ericd at belkin.com)
 Subject: Re: [OT-evil marketing] Belkin does Verislime one better - router spam! 
 Newsgroups: news.admin.net-abuse.email
 Date: 2003-11-07 20:00:08 PST 


 We at Belkin apologize for the recent trouble our customers have
 experienced with the wireless router/browser redirect issue.  We
 unintentionally overlooked the effect this feature would have.  We
 never intended to compromise the trust of our customers, and we never
 intend to do so in the future.

 We are taking responsibility for this, and we will be offering
 firmware fixes early next week. We do not have exact details yet as we
 are still working on them, and will continue to work on them over the
 weekend. What we can tell you now is that each Router's firmware that
 incorporates Parental Control as an option will be changed.

 I'll keep posting as things develop. Stay tuned..."

I have to note that first email post by the same person from Belkin has 
been removed from google (the post where he revealed why the did it in 
the first place). This was surprising as it would seem belkin did not 
know usenet is not google-only service so if it appeared at google groups, 
many many others would have had copy locally at thousands of places. And 
for those who did not, somebody made sure an extra copy was available on 
the web at:

I'm not sure if its the hundreds of people saying they will never buy from 
belkin again or if its the actual legal problems (what they did probably 
broke laws and if it did not it would make them liable in certain cases 
of redirection happen at very inconvient moment) that forced belkin to react
so quickly, but I'm happy they are doing it and taking responsibilityh and 
hopefully this will establish good precident in case somebody else was 
considering something similar (i.e. don't you dare imitate verisign!)

Would be interesting to see if their current advertisement (every 8 hours) 
page would now be replaced with "We're so sorry that you're seeing this 
page, please make sure to download our latest patch so your router never 
bother you again and would keep us out of legal trouble" message...

William Leibzon
Elan Networks
william at elan.net

More information about the NANOG mailing list