US ISP redirects DNS in Firefox toolbar

Disturbing news from the US.

Windstream Communications, a large ISP based on the East Coast of the US, has been caught using DNS redirection of the search results from the Google Toolbar in Firefox. Users using the Google Toolbar in Firefox were served a Windstream search results page, not a Google search results page. I’m not clear how this could even be done but this should never ever happen.

Windstream Hijacking Firefox Google Toolbar Results – Users kick back, Windstream promises correction tonight

Once their customers started complaining, Windstream representatives posted at dslreports.com that

“I won’t go into the technical details, but this was not a desired result to modify the Firefox search field regardless of which search provider is used in the browser.”

Somehow I can’t give this company the benefit of the doubt.

Edit:

Firefox redirects to windstream communications search results when I do a Google search in the search bar. (Mozilla Firefox support forums)

and

How do I remove a web search redirect? (Google Web Search Help Forum)

2 Responses to US ISP redirects DNS in Firefox toolbar

  1. ISPs that intercept or alter content need to be shot. Dead. And stomped on. And flogged. Then stomped on again. Then nuked from orbit just to be sure.

    My ISP, and I know many other, have been serving up bogus site page full of advertising whenever a site DNS name is not found. So if Mozilla wanted to give special instructions, help, or even their own advertising to users when a site is not found, you are out of luck as this is hijacked. (This also breaks apps that rely on getting a proper DNS error response, but they don’t care. I ultimately had to reconfigure my computer to use different DNS servers. I shouldn’t have to do that!)

  2. My frustration with this usually stems from seeing a site I know isn’t up responding, and then realizing it’s just hijacked DNS. It’s not great, but it’s pretty much par for the course these days I think. Comcast has been doing it for months (years?).