Pulse 360 (highly) targeted pop-up adverts
Now here’s a conundrum. I suddenly started seeing Pulse 360 adverts on my blog when using an old netbook running XP. Strange, I thought; I don’t know why they’re there. I checked on my OSX 10.6 running the very latest Firefox with NoScript. Nothing. I checked on other computers and other OS versions with older browsers. They showed on IE, Safari and Chrome. I asked my son, running Safari on OSX 10.5 with AdBlock. Nothing. He switched off AdBlock – and up they popped.
But it gets stranger. I asked security people what they thought. None of them could see any adverts – it only seems to be affecting me; or at least all of the computers behind my IP address.
But it’s multiple computers and multiple operating systems; so it’s not likely to be tied to a local infection. And after all, Pulse 360 is a legitimate business (yeah, right); so they wouldn’t do anything illegal. I suppose it could be something just affecting my router – that could affect internal browsers without affecting anything external. But it doesn’t seem likely.
So what are we left with? Has WordPress done a deal with Pulse 360? That doesn’t seem likely either (I’ve asked them, but haven’t had a reply yet).
What about the theme I use in WordPress? Could that have been compromised? But if so, why just pop them up on my computers and no-one else.
Or could the theme author have done a private deal with Pulse 360? By just showing the adverts to the blog owners, it could be an attempt to stay within the WordPress Terms and Conditions.
Frankly, I don’t know the answer. When I find out, I’ll let you know. Meantime, if the blog moves to Google blogs, you’ll know it was WordPress. If the theme suddenly changes, you’ll know it was the theme. But for the moment, it’s a conundrum – and I’m not happy.
For the next chapter, see WordPress Pulse360 advertising: block them with NoScript and TACO with Abine on Firefox