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Badgeplz Instagram Widget Spam and Malware Issues

10/10/2012 09:12:00 AM Chai Chen 14 Comments

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: http://www.nevillehobson.com/2011/01/30/how-to-protect-your-blog-from-viruses-backdoor-trojans-and-other-nasty-stuff/ 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 chenmeicai.blogspot.com" to fully load. I wasn't as observant at first until then.


The scan as recommended by the site; and done here: http://sitecheck.sucuri.net/scanner/ 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 http://breakmyspell.blogspot.com 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.
 

Chai

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