How to get rid of the “searchguide.level3.com” hack ? [Solved]

Level3_Crap_Search_EngineSomedays back I noticed that when I type something into my browser it takes me to a different search engine called "searchguide.level3.com" which I don’t remember installing or set in the browser. I looked into my browser settings for anything suspicious but didn’t find any. Now, how to get rid of the “searchguide.level3.com” hack ?Level3_Hack_Redirecting

After searching and reading some forum posts, I finally found the cause and fixed it.

It happens because of faulty, free DNS servers. In my case, I was using Level3’s DNS servers (4.2.2.1 through 4.2.2.6) and it was hijacking the traffic. When something messy is entered directly into the URL of the browser, it redirects to Level3’s searching site.
Level3_Faulty_DNS

 

To fix the problem, simply search for a good DNS server and use that instead. Same thing will happen with most free DNS servers, however, I am OK with Google’s free DNS server.

Two of the best DNS servers that can be used instead.

  1. Google Public DNS8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4
  2. OpenDNS – 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220

Hope this helps you solve your problem with the level3.com redirect.

How to install Xdebug and Webgrind on Mac OS X – [everything from terminal]

Recently, I have been asked to help install and setup XDebug along with Webgrind in a Mac OS X system using SSH on one of my colleague’s system. All of this setup were done remotely from another system. Here are the steps/commands for achieving the same.

Steps for installing Xdebug:

xdebug-profiling

  1. Get the information about installed PHP on the system. This is needed to get the custom installation instructions from xdebug website here: http://xdebug.org/wizard.php
    Copy the whole output of the above command and paste it in the textarea provided here: http://xdebug.org/wizard.php
  2. Get the url for the latest xdebug script and download it to your mac.
  3. Compile and build the php extension from the source. Install the same.
  4. Enable Xdebug in the php.ini file.
    1. Find the complete path of the xdebug.so file prior to editing the php.ini file. The path looks something like this: /usr/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20100525/xdebug.so Can be located using the command:
    2. Edit the php.ini file and add the following lines to the extreme end.
      Lines to be added:
    3. Restart Apache.

Setup Webgrind:

  1. Download and put Webgrind source into a folder in webserver. ( /Users/subharanjanm/Sites/webgrind/ in my case )
  2. Create a folder inside /private/var/tmp/ to store and read profiler files by Xdebug and Webgrind. This step can be skipped if you want to use the “tmp” directory directly to write files.
  3. Make changes needed in the Webgrind config file.
    Change the values of these two variables as per the path.
  4. Finally add following lines into php.ini below the xdebug settings to enable profiler and its related paths.

Now you can append ?XDEBUG_PROFILE=1 into the url of your php script to see the profiling data on Webgrind interface.

webgrind_xdebug