Hijacked URLs (navigation.nsgnav.com)

  • Today I installed Opera 29 on a new machine. When I go to certain URLs, Opera does not directly retrieve the specified URL, but instead passes the URL through a third-party referral URL. For example, if I type www.amazon.com into the URL bar, Opera actually retrieves http://navigation.nsgnav.com/query.php?a=nav&p=OPB&q=amazon.com&l=en-us, which then redirects to www.amazon.com. Not all URLs produce this behavior. For example, www.cnn.com goes directly to www.cnn.com, but www.priceline.com first gets directed through navigation.nsgnav.com before being redirected to www.priceline.com. In at least one instance, I was redirected to the incorrect site, but unfortunately I cannot remember which URL I typed to produce this behavior.

    What is going on here? This does not occur on any of the other machines on which I have installed Opera.

    Thanks in advance for any insight you can offer!

  • I've had the same problem. I was dorking around on wikipedia and accidentally entered a URL wrong and it redirected me via nsgnav to wag.com. Its also happened a few times when I search for stuff in the address bar and I end up at home depot.

    What I have noticed is instead of the address bar having the google favicon or a world icon in it there is a magnifying glass instead, even when what is typed is a valid URL. Its very strange.

  • The phenomenon is known as URL forwarding, which is theoretically used to forward selected address-bar inquiries that aren't normally-formatted, are mispelled, or are incomplete DNS queries to a commercial website that then connects the user with a related brand website. It has been most commonly used and seen on certain browsers on mobile devices (in particular, the Dolphin browser used especially on Android), where it has raised some privacy concerns in some critics' opinions. Some users claim to have had experiences where even properly formatted, full URLs would suffer redirection as well, but the behavior was very inconsistent and many other users never saw such redirects. While this echoes your differing experience across different Opera-equipped systems, it doesn't explain why it's occurring in the first place unless something peculiar is occurring with Opera's address-bar search provider.

  • I don't remember have seen such redirection here. Usually when i type an url wrongly, it just do a search using what i've typed as keyword.

  • I can reproduce the issue quite easily. This was off a fresh install of the latest stable version, not an update. I don't know what is causing it. Is there anything you'd like to me to, like take a screenshot or something, to help nail this down?

  • Interestingly, today I tried a new fresh install in a virtual machine and I did not experience the URL forwarding behavior. I then copied the "%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Opera Software" folder from the virtual machine and used it to replace the same folder on the physical machine. This did not resolve the issue. I then proceeded to do the same with the "%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Opera Software" folder. This, too, did not resolve the issue on the physical machine. Finally, I did the same with the "%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Programs\Opera" folder, and finally this did solve the issue.

    Still not sure what all this means. It seems strange that two different fresh installs would behave differently like this. Equally strange that the URL redirection does not appear to have an exogenous cause, e.g. an anomaly with the operating system configuration or network configuration, as copying the "%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Programs\Opera" folder from the virtual machine to the physical machine resolved the issue.

  • Finally, I did the same with the "%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Programs\Opera" folder, and finally this did solve the issue.

    I don't have that folder here. IIRC this is the old folder for Opera Presto.

  • Finally, I did the same with the "%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Programs\Opera" folder, and finally this did solve the issue.

    I don't have that folder here. IIRC this is the old folder for Opera Presto.

    @leocg, I believe the Opera 29 binaries got installed to the "%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Programs\Opera" path because I was installing without administrative privileges in both instances.

  • Its very strange. I was doing some testing and found that if I type the word 'dewalt' in the address bar everything is fine until the 'l'. So 'dewa' defaults to doing a google search but as soon as the l is added (dewal) it changes from google to the magnifying glass icon and redirects via navigation.nsgnav.com. The google option is still listed but its not longer the default. Thats just bazaar.

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