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IvorD

Potentially hijacked banner destination URL

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I'm posting to see if anyone has experienced anything as curious as the following:

We received an alert from the Google Search Console about an invalid redirection. (I vetted the message to ensure it was legitimate.) The link they supplied was a Revive ad link from our server with legitmate zone and banner IDs but an incorrect destination URL:

https://SITE/adserver/www/delivery/ck.php?oaparams=2__bannerid=16__zoneid=13__cb=bf7c125ee0__oadest=http://asmilingmalice.tumblr.com%22%3EBeautiful

whereas the correct (& current) ad link is:

https://SITE/adserver/www/delivery/ck.php?oaparams=2__bannerid=16__zoneid=13__cb=d44ce9c8e3__oadest=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.freekibblekat.com%2F

Apart from being the incorrect URL, the bogus one includes "> (quote, greater-than) before the "Beautiful", like it was scraped incorrectly from somewhere.

I've been back through several months of nightly database backups and can find no evidence of the banner record with the bogus URL and the database is correct today. I've reviewed all of the banner destination links both visually to see that they are as intended and programmatically to checked they can be visited (and found a few that no longer work).

I found no modified source files. I've upgraded from 4.1.4 to 4.2.1 anyway to ensure a fresh set of source files.

So I'm currently stumped about how this one destination URL could have been tampered with, apparently temporarily, and would be very interested in similar experiences or insights into what might have transpired. Any ideas?

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