Adware alert: Ufone 3G is insecure, displays pop-under ads while surfing websites

By on
June 4, 2015
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There have been several reports, including within our own company of 3G users of Ufone seeing pop-under ads, while browsing the web on Ufone 3G. We have verified this from devices that are currently in our possession that clicking on any link while on a website and running Ufone 3G will prompt you to some random ad which you can see below:

For now, the issue is on a small scale but is slowly picking up traction on social media outlets. Ufone recently also announced that WhatsApp Calls will be billed separately even if you are on Ufone call package with a data bucket, this is currently a developing story and we are currently reaching out to other people who are using Ufone and 3G services, for now 2 out of 2 Ufone 3G users have both confirmed this issue happening upon opening any link on a website.

This is quite an odd encounter for us, normally this kind of activity would be if you are being given a free service or similar, but since these customers are paying for their services and are seeing server side ads from Ufone in their web browsing activities, it is simply unacceptable.

We have yet to confirm if this is an intentional or unintentional act from Ufone side. We are in hopes that this is a minor time error and should be over soon. We have reached out to Ufone for a comment on this activity, we will update the story as soon as we hear back anything from them.

How to test if you are affected?

Clear your mobile browser cache, cookies, and history. After which open any website and from there, open a link. If you don’t see anything on 2-3 links, then you are in the clear, for us the pop-under ads would come after opening the first link.

If you are a Ufone 3G customer and are facing this issue, please leave a comment below and do mention your city, browser and the occurrence frequency.

Update 

We would like to credit Kamran Zubairy, for his insightful post on May 30th. In the post, he highlights how Ufone internet exploits a Google Analytics script to force an ad open for the user.

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  • Getting this annoying ad on Ufone 3G and it doesn’t show every time. You need to clear your browser’s cache to see this ad.

    Location Sialkot.
    Ufone 3G

  • Zoms

    Facing the same issue. Ufone is definitely upto something.

  • S Saad Saleem Mengal

    Which os? It seems its happening with Android Phones only. Tested on my iPhone, seems clear.

    karachi

    • ad popups on my iphone’s safari browser. tested. many times.

      Islamabad

  • Suhaib Malik

    I am 100% agreed with this, and the findings of Kamran. I am also working on it from past couple of weeks. I faced first this issue when I connect my laptop with my cell phone hotspot, and by chrome browser started behaving wired. I open a popup window when I click on any link.
    This fixes after reinstalling the browser.
    Than I faced the same issue on my nexus 5 chrome, while I was browsing websites. This happening not all locations but what I have noticed is that this happens only on major locations where offices are located, in my finding 100% times I faced this issue at Shahra e Faisal, North Nazimabad, Clifton in Karachi.

  • facing the same issue -_- ad popups everytime i visit non-https site. its too much annoying, I tried doing everything even reinstalling chrome. also comes on my iphone -_- Now i know the reason is Ufone.

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  • Muhammad Aijaz Hussain

    Had the same issue. Also the idea of being billed separately for WhatsApp calls while I had a data plan irked me. So I decided to switch.
    Best move as a consumer. I voted with my wallet. If enough people do it, the company will have to shape up.

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  • Athar

    Getting the same issue.

    Ufone is injecting malware pop ads on google analytics ga.js file and it pops an ad every 30 second

  • A Pakistani

    Wow.. this is an old post and ufone don’t even care. I just started using Ufone 3G and i see ads all over the page on my own website and every other site i browse. It’s a freaking nightmare.

    This thing should be taken to court of law. Even if they mentioned about this adware in their terms of service still i think it’s a crime because 1) public is completely unaware of this. 2) it’s not free 3G. 3) they’re all over the place. It’s not just a small ad which can be allowed. Even for a 100% free 3G this kind of behavior is just unacceptable. But they’re getting our money. I would want govt to take immediate action on this truly thieving behavior of Ufone.

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  • XeonFX

    Same Issue from Last 1 Year, Using Ad block plus to block this Ufone 3G Adware Malware Virus. Ufone is so lazy and their engineers are khotas, they dont know how to fix this. If they can’t fix then hire me :)…

  • jugnu

    its hsppening with me as well.
    I firstly thought it was something else.
    but its ufone
    wao
    its all about you ,
    shame ufone, im porting my network, huh…

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  • XeonFX

    I also contacted with propakistani with proofs. I thought they are
    educated and trained in this field but they are loosers also. I sent the
    proof videos and screen to aamir showing adaware on propakistani and
    other websites. They promised to resolve the matter but no use. I am
    now shifted to telenor as Ufone is the worst 3G internet provider in
    Pakistan. They are so expensive and bombared there users with spyware
    and adaware ads. On mobile phones its even worse you will see constant
    ads from malware companies like your phone have a virus etc. This
    problem does not exist if I switch the sim to telenor or other networks.

  • XeonFX

    Extract from Ufone wikipedia page.

    Scandal

    Ufone
    internet servers hijack popular google analytics scripts analytics.js
    and ga.js to inject adware and malware scripts on users computers.[7]
    Most of the users complaint to Ufone Facebook page and on social media
    however Ufone is unable to resolve this issue. Users are facing this
    problem since May, 2015, and most of the users stoped using Ufone 3G
    service.[8] [9][10]