Comcast Search Hijacking
Comcast uses a system they call “Domain Helpers” DNS name servers, and the main thing they do besides match domain name URIs with IP addresses is hijack your search function if you type a domain name incorrectly in your address bar. Comcast has a nice DNS site that explains it all When you do that, the page comes up as a Comcast search engine rather than whatever you made your default search engine. It doesn’t matter if you are using Firefox, Internet Explorer or any other browser and it is operating-system independent. If you are using Comcast’s standard DHCP connection, these hijacking servers are what you are routed to.
Comcast lists their “Domain Helper” DNS addresses at http://dns.comcast.net/dns-ip-addresses.php. On this page they say they are phasing out “Domain Helper” DNS by march of 2011, which they didn’t do. Search, or more specifically, search ads make money. Ask Google or Microsoft.
They have a link to a page that shows DNS servers for people who want to “Opt Out,” or in other words, people who do not want their search function hijacked at http://dns.comcast.net/dns-ip-addresses2.php
I changed my DNS servers to the closest “Opt Out” servers, and enjoyed hijack-free Internet for a couple of days. Today the Internet went out in a funny way. Things I could access using their IP addresses were unreachable by domain name. I called Comcast support, and they said they would be happy to do “Signature Service” for a monthly 19.95 charge. I said I would have to think about it.
I went in and changed the DNS servers back to the Hijacker servers, and the Internet was working perfectly. They had disabled access to their own non-hijacking servers.
Tags: comcast scam