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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Badgeplz Instagram Widget Spam and Malware Issues

Recently, I've been getting feedback from some of my readers that my blog is redirecting to spam and porn sites, which I wasn't fully aware of. I kinda noticed a little slowness in loading my page but I never really thought it'd be because of link re-directions to spam sites!

It started with my loves Pakize and Joyce who constantly updated that their anti-virus programs have prompted them of adware and trojans coming from my blog. I couldn't figure out what's wrong and asked their help to take a screen capture of the notice and what directions were given - so I could identify and pinpoint where the problem is and remove it. I had no clue what was going on and which one was triggering it. I checked my links and nothing seemed suspicious. Then my dear Emman Malaman found a site that helped identify what the problem is.

Here's the link: The site suggested ways to scan your blog and protect you from such viruses that spawn like crazy. I immediately did the recommendations and boy, was it a sigh of relief right after. Everything was pointing to the malicious content on my blog- which was no other than the cute and seems-awesome instagram widget called BADGEPLZ. It was innocently sitting on my blog with its cute customized design and theme, seemingly perfect for bloggers like me as it shows my # of photos and followers as well. Little did we know, it was as dangerous.

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At home, I couldn't identify the issue though I noticed some URLs I did not recognize present in my widgets nor in my HTML codes. Such links (and I will not post them here anymore) are obviously porn sites since they bear the "XXX" in some URLs and site titles; and codes like "ADSPY zdsderhywyeusd" among others. You can observe that at the bottom of your screen while seeing "waiting for" to fully load. I wasn't as observant at first until then.

The scan as recommended by the site; and done here: all pointed to BADGEPLZ.

My Blog scanned - BADGEPLZ issues (has warnings)
So I searched a little bit from trusty google and founds this site that claims BADGEPLZ IS MALWARE. Why didn't I even search for it before I even added it on my blog? Gosh!

Well, I was inspired by fellow blogger, Mikki Galang from who's using the same badge widget for her instagram photos. There was nothing suspicious at first. I wasn't reading anything negative about the widget initially. Until the slowness and the comments from my dears. I guess my anti-virus wasn't as strong as theirs.

I tried researching more and I landed on Redleg's tool to remove malware on Blogger. All the scans also pointed to badgeplz - which tells me it does redirect and launch back-end sites and popups that are either spam / malware / adware / porn / malicious / suspicious sites. I was like OMG!!!!

So I had no other choice but to remove the tool and just replace it with my webstagram widget. My blog's now cleaned.

Overall, I rate this widget ...
CHAI'S VERDICT: ★ (1 Star!!!)
And there's no reason for me to link it - pointless! I don't want you to experience the same. Their customer service isn't responsive as well. Emails nor twitter posts - they are just ignoring. So there's no use for me to contact them anymore. What's a good thing now is, my site scan shows my blog is now cleared up. Thank goodness!

So to fellow bloggers, if you're using that widget - better remove it now so we can all have a safe blogging experience and ensure our readers have safe browsing as well.



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