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Thread: Suspicious Download Help

  1. #1

    Default Suspicious Download Help

    (Reposting from a recent blog at the suggestions of other members)

    I was browsing Walmart.com when a file suddenly started downloading on my computer. It led me to a blank web page, and the recent downloads bar at the bottom (I use a Chromebook) disappeared. When I went to delete it from the rest of my files it said it was zero bytes. Should I be concerned about it being a virus/malware?

    I did contact Walmart about it. As Chromebooks come with built-in virus protection, I haven't really found any apps to scan my computer to check it. I found some to check the url or file, but the suspicious link (I'm assuming it's a link?) is no longer working so it can't be scanned. (I accidentally clicked it again while trying to copy it from my history.)

    My computer is still working fine, so I'm only really concerned about my identity or parents' credit card information being compromised; I went ahead and did a PayPal transaction yesterday.

  2. #2

    Default

    I wouldn't worry about the link. It's probably a mistake on Walmart's part. It also doesn't look like an attack. If the file is zero-size, it won't do anything.

    I've observed that Chrome sometimes gives me a blank page (about:blank) when downloading files, but I've never gotten a zero-size file. Perhaps you somehow accidentally initiated a download and it failed?

    I have little clue of what really happened, however. Nonetheless I still think you're safe.

  3. #3
    BordercollieTrigger

    Default

    I myself no way would buy a chromebook wouldnt trust it all. I rather use Windows at least i can but my own protection.

  4. #4

    Default

    Seconding what Embrace said, sounds like some good old server derp to me. I'd guess it was meant to just serve the page as normal, but something messed up and it accidentally started trying to send you the page as a download or something, then stopped. Unless you see any signs of anything abnormal, I wouldn't worry about it.

  5. #5

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Programmatic View Post
    Seconding what Embrace said, sounds like some good old server derp to me. I'd guess it was meant to just serve the page as normal, but something messed up and it accidentally started trying to send you the page as a download or something, then stopped. Unless you see any signs of anything abnormal, I wouldn't worry about it.
    The one thing I'd like to add, just to be more specific, was that when it happened, I'd clicked off of an item and went back to the search results. It was normal for maybe around 5-10 seconds before the download occurred. Don't know if that makes a difference or not.

  6. #6

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by KimbaStarshine View Post
    The one thing I'd like to add, just to be more specific, was that when it happened, I'd clicked off of an item and went back to the search results. It was normal for maybe around 5-10 seconds before the download occurred. Don't know if that makes a difference or not.
    Not very likely to make a difference I wouldn't have thought, could have just been some javascript which went off to load some content. Like I said, as long as you haven't noticed anything else you're probably fine.

  7. #7

    Default

    The only difference I've noticed is a slight change on one job-search site I use; it seems to not always alert me to new postings relevant to my search. But that only started happening after I cleared my cookies. Otherwise, my computer seems fine.

  8. #8

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by KimbaStarshine View Post
    The only difference I've noticed is a slight change on one job-search site I use; it seems to not always alert me to new postings relevant to my search. But that only started happening after I cleared my cookies. Otherwise, my computer seems fine.
    That sounds unrelated. Sites update their logic quite commonly, and if it isn't always alerting you now when it used to, it may either be a bug on their part, or the powers that be may have affected their email deliverability if enough emails from them are marked as spam.

    What it sounds like happened was a redirect accident. Sometimes people create forms with JavaScript and send them with some information attached. (Like search values) If this ran without any information (So, accidentally, likey the result of programmer error), since, IIRC, Wal-Mart's site runs on Node.js, common behavior here would be a blank page.

    If the file was not supposed to be visited directly in the browser, the dissipation could be attachment by default, which would make you download it.

    tl;dr - I am very sure you are fine.

  9. #9

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by thingywhat View Post
    That sounds unrelated. Sites update their logic quite commonly, and if it isn't always alerting you now when it used to, it may either be a bug on their part, or the powers that be may have affected their email deliverability if enough emails from them are marked as spam.

    What it sounds like happened was a redirect accident. Sometimes people create forms with JavaScript and send them with some information attached. (Like search values) If this ran without any information (So, accidentally, likey the result of programmer error), since, IIRC, Wal-Mart's site runs on Node.js, common behavior here would be a blank page.

    If the file was not supposed to be visited directly in the browser, the dissipation could be attachment by default, which would make you download it.

    tl;dr - I am very sure you are fine.
    Actually, I don't get email alerts, it simply says ''[number] new'' when I visit the page. But anyway, it seems to be back to normal now.

  10. #10
    PaddedPuppy

    Default

    The walmart site was probably just being maintained at the time and a bit of broken or misconfigured code probably made you download a bit of the site's content. That, or you did one of them weird gestures. If you click and drag an object in a certain way you can end up downloading it. I kept doing that on my old Chromebook and I had random images from past websites I had been browsing appearing in the file manager.

    Chrome OS is quite basic, and is also quite well protected. Its linux based, so you aren't likely to get a virus anyway as the majority are made to infect Windows machines. However the way that Chrome OS is set up you shouldn't be able to execute anything while in a standard user environment. It should just be the Chrome browser and approved Chrome extensions that will work.

    If you really do have a concern though, just go into settings and perform a powerwash. It will only take about a minute to do and will have your computer reset back as if you had just bought it. Because of it all being cloud based computing all your preferences, bookmarks etc. will return when you sign back in. Anything in your Google drive will also come back for you. But any local downloads will be killed off, just in case it did download questionable content.

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