Spam Links Embedded in Free Templates

8 replies
  • WEB DESIGN
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I recently had an experience where is discovered spam links to a gambling site and an affiliate link (kind of guessing on the affiliate link) embedded in a free Joomla template I downloaded.

In my research I discovered a number of forum posts (not here) that lead me to believe it's a common practice to embed such links. Not only in free templates but some paid as well.

It's not possible (for me) to remove them. index.php points to an encrypted file that if it's removed the template breaks.

I'd love to get some input on this.
  • Who makes safe reliable templates?
  • Does this happen with free WP templates too?
  • Is there an easy way to check a template before investing development time into it?
Thanks in advance
Tom
#embedded #free #links #spam #templates
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    • Profile picture of the author tlink211
      Originally Posted by Shoot View Post

      This was the ticket! I had no idea it could be decoded like that.
      It did decode it and I was able to remove the links. That's the good news.
      On the flipside, I sent an email to (ThemeGoat), inside the template it says to do that to remove links.

      The response was to use the PayPal Donate Button on their site and donate $30.00. I was hesitant but I did pony up the $30 bucks. I did a lot of Internet research before hand but the encrypted (now I know Encoded) file put it over the top. So I took the chance.

      I did receive a response and a new template file (I think, haven't unzipped it yet...I will give a full report).

      It is a nice template and it will be $30.00 well spent if there are no further problems with it. Of course now there are trust issues with that website.
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      • Profile picture of the author tlink211
        OK the zip file they sent is a fresh template and the file in question is not encoded. Once I decoded the original file there was only one line of code that I kept. I wasn't a big file.

        In the new file they sent there is the same line of code plus this:
        <!--[if IE 6]><link rel="stylesheet" href="/ DOCTYPE html type="text/css" media="screen" PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN < ?php echo $templateUrl; ?>/css/template.ie6.css" DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN type="text/css" media="screen" /><![endif]-->

        It looks like it's just a remark but I don't trust it.
        I do not find a file named template.ie6.css anywhere in the template.
        Anybody know what's up here?
        I hope this question is not too inappropriate fro the web design forum.
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      • Profile picture of the author Shoot
        Originally Posted by tlink211 View Post

        This was the ticket! I had no idea it could be decoded like that.
        It did decode it and I was able to remove the links. That's the good news.
        On the flipside, I sent an email to (ThemeGoat), inside the template it says to do that to remove links.

        The response was to use the PayPal Donate Button on their site and donate $30.00. I was hesitant but I did pony up the $30 bucks. I did a lot of Internet research before hand but the encrypted (now I know Encoded) file put it over the top. So I took the chance.

        I did receive a response and a new template file (I think, haven't unzipped it yet...I will give a full report).

        It is a nice template and it will be $30.00 well spent if there are no further problems with it. Of course now there are trust issues with that website.
        Glad I can help.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rankx
    It is easy to remove any of these links. You just need to know where to find them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    Tom,

    In the free themes from the wordpress.org site there are no spam links. Everywhere else you can, no: you should expect them...
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  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    Tom,

    every WP theme is supposed to have its own folder under /wp-content/themes/

    Which means that stylesheet should be here:
    .../wp-content/themes/your-new-theme/css/template.ie6.css

    And that code you posted is telling the browser: if you are Internet Explorer 6 > then load this special stylesheet!

    (although I think it's time to NOT design anymore for IE6)
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    • Profile picture of the author tlink211
      Thanks for your input Istvan. I should make it clear this particular theme is for Joomla not WordPress. Having said that, Joomla themes have a similar configuration. There is not a template.ie6.css file in the css folder or any other folder in this template.

      I agree ie6 is a non issue at this point.
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