Skip to comments.XFinity Constant Guard Spam (Comcast)
Posted on 03/22/2013 12:22:56 PM PDT by Graybeard58
Not a new problem but I'm looking for a solution, other than the obvious one.
Comcast puts a pop up ad for their soft ware on every web page I open, "XFinity Constant Guard". It covers about 75% of the page. There is no way to simply exit out of it, all I can do is grab it in the upper left corner and drag it out of sight to the far right side of the page.
I went to Comcast in person yesterday and the woman there said, "I should go into my programs and remove it". The rub there is that it has never been in my programs. I could not make her understand that, I've never down loaded the thing nor will I ever. It is a pop up spam ad and not their program .
I've been to Comcast web site forum and it is full of the same complaint, with the Comcast rep blaming everything but Comcast for the problem, the woman at Comcast had the temerity to tell me that I'm the only one that has ever complained.
The Comcast spam will appear for two or three days, then go away for two to four weeks, then it's back again- on every web page visited. I am having some relief from it today, so far.
How about a class action law suit against Comcast for "Denial of service"?
Comcast has no doubt put in boilerplate that protects them against customer legal claims based on their ad pushes. Try tweaking your browser settings, and perhaps with a different browser.
“the woman at Comcast had the temerity to tell me that I’m the only one that has ever complained.”
This is a play on the Delphi Technique. Lying to you about being the ‘only one’ to notice this is meant to prevent you from connecting to other people who have the same complaint.
Post this over on 4chan and let them wreak havoc on Comcast for you.
Is it something that’s always up, even without your browser working? Or is it something that’s only functional when your browser is active?
If it’s always up regardless of your browsing, that’s considered adware or malware and is nuke-able via several programs available on the market (I prefer MalwareBytes).
If it’s only up when your browsing the web, it’s an add-on or browser “helper” object (BHO). Those, too, can be removed. I prefer to “fix” it with Firefox, since IE is worthless as a browser. Firefox with AdblockPlus, NoScript, Ghostery, and CookieMonster will ensure you’ll never see another ad from anyone.
Comcast cannot legally force you to have that adware functioning in order to use their services, so you CAN remove it somehow.
It’s probably not a stand-alone program, but a browser toolbar. In IE, go to the View menu, and look under toolbars. If there is anything from XFinity/Comcast on there, uncheck it to uninstall it.
Which browser are you using? look to see if the program is an “add on” or try a different browser and see if the trouble goes away. Also check the settings on your tool bar or switch tool bars. I presume you have looked under “uninstall a program” to see if the program exists there.
I don’t have Comcast so I don’t know first hand about the problem you have but, unless it is some type of malware, it is either a) a program b) an add on to your browser or c) part of some sort of toolbar you uploaded.
You can also call back to Comcast and ask for “tech support” and if they give you the same answer, ask to speak to a supervisor until they tell you how to remove it. Ask them to walk you through removal.
I use Firefox but will try I.E.
I’ve looked on the tool bar, it’s not an add on, also been to uninstall programs, it’s not a program.
I can’t call Comcast as I’m hearing impaired and my phone doesn’t have the program, I hear enough to get by in person but a phone is almost useless to me. I went to Comcast’s web site forum and they have a rep there that gets hundreds and hundreds of complaints about this same issue, he denies, denies, denies that it is a Comcast problem, that users or their computers are in error, also the people on that forum have called and they either are shuffled from department to department or get the same song and dance as they put out on the web forum.
This looks like it may help. It talks about Constant Guard..a Norton product.
“Is it something thats always up, even without your browser working? Or is it something thats only functional when your browser is active?”
Not always up, only when I am on any web page.
It’s a pop up ad from Comcast that has no way to exit out.
Nothing on it, no add ons. It’s a pop up ad from Comcast that has no way to exit out. I suppose if I clicked OK, it would down load their program to my computer, which I do not want.
On Comcast web site the people who have down loaded the program still get the pop up ads.
It’s not something I need to uninstall, I’ve never installed it and it’s not an add on. It’s not the actual program it’s a spam ad for the program and you cannot exit it.
You have malware on your PC that’s triggered alerts on their network causing the block.
In all likely hood your computer is probably part of a bot net and it needs to be cleaned.
In your browser, click “tools” “Popup blocker.” Also, try holding down the “control” key and rolling your mouse wheel to make the screen’s contents smaller. Often that will bring up an “x” that is not otherwise visible.
Since you have Comcast, go to their site and download Norton. Then, set the pop-up blocker there.
Lastly, try putting your mouse on the ad and then right clicking to see what options you have. One of them might be FU Comcast. You never know.
Try downloading a program called HiJackThis from TrendMicro. If you run it, it won’t change anything on your system at first; it just gives you a list of a lot of programs and utilities that are installed on your system that you might not be able to see otherwise.
Run that scan, and then in the results, look for entries that start with “BHO”. If any of them say XFinity, or Comcast, or something like that, check the box next to them and press the “Remove Selected” button at the bottom.
Hmm, after checking that link, I think militant is right. The ads are popping up because Comcast is detecting suspicious activity on their network coming from something bad installed on your computer.
If you are infected, this is the process I’ve been using lately with about 95% success to remove viruses and rootkits:
Download Rkill - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/rkill/
Download TDSSKiller - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/tdsskiller/
Download MalwareBytes - http://www.malwarebytes.org/products/malwarebytes_free/
Save all those to some location you will remember, like the desktop, then reboot your computer and hit F8 while it restarts, to bring up the boot menu. Select “Safe Mode with Networking”. Once it starts up, install and run the programs you downloaded, first RKill, then TDSSKiller, and finally MalwareBytes. Let them update if they need to, then scan and remove anything they find.
After that, you can restart, and unless you have gotten a very tricky infection, you should be good to go.
Poster after poster on Comcast's web site have declared these to be false alarms, after scanning with my own soft ware, nothing is found. Constant Alert is not a program that's on my computer, what I get is a pop up ad for Xfinity Constant Alert, Comcast want's me to down load their program, so they can tell me whether I have a problem or not. The only problem I have is the pop up ad.
Haven't tried that, my comp is set for large print.
Lastly, try putting your mouse on the ad and then right clicking to see what options you have. One of them might be FU Comcast.
Very near trying that option.
HijackThis is used primarily for diagnosis of browser hijacking, as uninformed use of its removal facilities can cause significant software damage to a computer. HijackThis does not remove or detect spyware; it lists most common locations where browser hijacking activity can occur.
Thanks for the tip, I may try it when my more informed son comes over.
Something else I failed to mention is that when I have it, it also takes over my wife's IPhone and my 13 year old son's Xbox.
Something else I failed to mention is that when I have it, it also takes over my wife’s IPhone and my 13 year old son’s Xbox.
P.S. Back when I adopted two children, I posted a vanity, you commented and my kids were reading the comments and got a big kick out of your screen name. I had been trying to convince them that the “boogieman” was real, (They are too old to believe that) I offered them your screen name as proof.
No, you’re better off sticking with Firefox. IE is the worst browser around, when it comes to speed and security. My wife and I both use Google Chrome most of the time. Sometimes I will also run Opera; it is only browser that does a decent job loading .MHT files.
Yes, it can screw things up if you start checking things off willy nilly. If you only look at the BHO section though, you can pretty much remove anything there and not do permanent harm to your system, since those are all just add-ons to your internet browser.
The worst you can do if you remove BHO’s is you might remove a browser add-on that you actually wanted, like an Adobe PDF helper or something like that.
Yes, to the WIFI connection but it is password protected.
“Something else I failed to mention is that when I have it, it also takes over my wifes IPhone and my 13 year old sons Xbox.”
What takes over? Do you mean the pop-up ads are showing up on those devices too?
“I had been trying to convince them that the boogieman was real, (They are too old to believe that) I offered them your screen name as proof.”
Haha, that’s great. I’m really not hiding in their closet though, I promise!
If you are going to use HijackThis install it. Then run the app and do a scan and create a log file. It will be a really long text file that indicates everything it finds about your computer. Copy the entire file and paste it into the text box at this website - http://www.hijackthis.de/ then click ANALYZE. It will tell you which things are okay, what things are bad (safe to remove) and what things are questionable. Its pretty accurate as well. I have used it many times and never had a problem.
I'm assuming you have a comcast/xfinity cable modem, PLUS a wired/wireless router that you are using to access the Internet from a home network.
My understanding is that it's due to SOME device on your home network having a "bot" or some other sort of supposed malware detected by comcast, BUT they can't tell which computer behind your home router/firewall it is actually on. So, they spam ALL the computers on your home network whenever you bring up a browser on any of them and start connecting to web sites via HTTP connections. So far, I think I've narrowed it down to my adult daughter's laptop that is only on sometimes. Nothing on my other fixed computers after virus checks.
In summary, I agree that this is EXTREMELY annoying and hard to track down if you have many devices on your home network.
Did you try “TOOLS” then activating Pop-Up blocker?
Yes, same pop up, daughter's lap top too but they can't even drag it aside on IPhone or XBox, like I can on the comp.
Suggest something in the WIFI?
It’s on the highest setting.
Famous last words! This crap gets installed every day by folks such as you, and me, who had no idea it was being installed......
One innocent click on any website will have that happen to you.
Hell, I recentely agreed to update my Avast Anti Virus software and fortunately I read every pop up screen because If I hadn't, I would have downloaded Google Chrome, made Google Chrome my home page, and left me open to receiving all their email notifications.
No, it sounds like it is being pushed through from XFinity, to all the devices on your internet connection. I have Comcast/Xfinity internet service, and I’ve never seen anything like that. I think I would just keep calling them until they give you an answer. Threatening to switch providers usually will motivate them to find someone who knows how to help.
Clean frequently. Also clear cookies, etc.
Have you brought up task manager to see what is running?
How do I know the Alert Notice is from Comcast?
A Comcast "Service Notice" can be issued in the following ways:
* An in-browser web notification that appears as a transparent message during browsing and an e-mail to your primary comcast.net e-mail address.
* An email notification to your primary comcast.net email address.
Please click here to sign into your comcast.net email.
Below is a sample of the email sent to your primary comcast.net email account.
From: Comcast Security Assurance <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Constant Guard Security Notice
Constant Guard Alert
Dear XFINITY Customer,
Your immediate attention is required.
Constant Guard from XFINITY identified that one or more of your computers may be infected with a bot. A bot is a malicious form of software that is used to send spam, host a phishing site, or steal your identity by monitoring your keystrokes without your knowledge. It may be possible you are unaware that your computer is infected with a bot.
We strongly recommend you visit XFINITY.com/BotAssistance for important information on how to remove malicious software from your computer(s).
We appreciate your prompt attention to this important security notice.
Constant Guard from XFINITY
So just to reiterate, this is a "transparent message during browsing," meaning it appears as something like a pop-up (but not) that is semi-transparent. It's not a normal browser popup in a popup dialog window (no frame) that can be closed.
Despite all the helpful comments, this is NOT due to software accidentally installed on a computer. You can walk into a friend's house with a laptop or tablet, get their wireless network password, connect to their network, open a normal non-SSL HTTP connection to a web site, and wah-lah you start getting this annoying semi-transparent overlay if it's active. And if your browser app isn't windowed (e.g., handheld device), you can't move it.
Comcast claims they only do this once a week if a device on your home network is detected as having a bot, but I've seen it more than that. Your only recourse is to fid out WHICH device on your home network is causing this to happen, and figure out how to clean up that one device. If you have lots networked devices on your home network, this can take a long time. Try leaving certain devices off for multi-day periods, and see if it goes away, plus obviously doing virus scans on all your home computers, etc., not just the one you happen to get this message on.
Remember, Comcast is an ISP. They completely control your Internet connection, including all layers of the IP protocol stack and the physical layer transport. Their routers and networking equipment have full understanding and filter control over the HTTP transport protocol used by web apps (including browsers), TCP, IP and data link layer packets below that.
What they are apparently doing as an ISP ostensibly "protecting their network" is using something comparable to packet injection to insert additional HTML content defining this semi-transparent message box into the otherwise normal content being received from a web site (doesn't matter which) HTTP socket connection. It is not something accidentally installed on your computer, which is obvious given that it shows up on ALL computers, tablets, cell phones, etc., connected to your home network.
Can I opt out of receiving future Service Notices?
No. The Constant Guard Service Notices are necessary to protect the security of all our high-speed Internet customers. Under the XFINITY Internet Acceptable Use Policy, you have the responsibility to secure any equipment that connects to the Internet via our service from external threats such as viruses, spam, bot nets, and other methods of intrusion. Comcast is sending this Service Notice to assist in that effort. As a result, this is similar to any other service notification we might send. You can close the Service Notice without any further action. We may notify you again in the future if your security is at risk.
Hopefully the information I just posted will keep you from looking in the wrong places and wasting time on the networked devices that aren’t the root of the problem.