Is this iOS Amazon gift card hijack malware or bad ads?
February 24, 2018 2:11 PM   Subscribe

I primarily use an iPad Pro as my work device, and I love it — except that Safari is routinely getting hijacked. Is this malware, bad ads on some sites, or some other thing I haven’t thought of? And how can I make it stop?

First is a pop-up notification telling me I’ve won a $1000 Amazon gift card, iPhone X, or whatever, and then when I close it, it takes me to a page that looks like an Amazon page, but is actually a URL like “” As far as I can tell, there’s no way to close the box without hitting the text in the lower right that says “close,” and you’re locked out of scrolling or interacting with the browser until you deal with the dialogue box.

And then it’s basically impossible to get to the page I was trying to look at without triggering the hijack again. As a result, some sites like are close to impossible for me to use, because the specific recipe pages I want keep pushing me into these scam pages and I can’t break the loop.

Is this something on my iPad I need to purge? Is it just bad adware and annoying but not an ongoing security risk to me? Is there anything I can do about this?! Argh so annoying.

posted by Andrhia to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
It’s a terrible ad and a scourge on the internet. I mostly use an iPad Pro as well.
posted by advicepig at 2:29 PM on February 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: It's doubtful that you have malware on your iPad, assuming you haven't installed a dodgy VPN/proxy service that is actively screwing with your connection. What you've reported seems like garden-variety crummy advertising.

You could use a different browser that has an ad blocker built in, like Brave, or use a system add-on to block ads, like 1Blocker.
posted by bcwinters at 2:38 PM on February 24, 2018 [16 favorites]

Response by poster: bcwinters, you may have just changed my life. I had no idea there were such blockers available for iOS!
posted by Andrhia at 3:01 PM on February 24, 2018 [3 favorites]

Thanks for asking the question. I was having this problem as well. Marking it solved.
posted by songs_about_rainbows at 5:10 PM on February 24, 2018

I use 1blocker too.

The nice thing about system add-ons is that they work even when an app has an embedded web browser.

Don't forget that long-pressing the "reload" button in Safari will give you the option to reload the page with the blocker disabled - in case you come across a problematic website.
posted by mr_silver at 9:54 PM on February 24, 2018

You have just changed my life. I was reading an article and a Walmart one popped up. I couldn't get the close link to work. It pissed me off.
posted by kathrynm at 8:38 AM on February 25, 2018

I just got 1Blocker and it's amazing. I paid them their well earned $5 for premium.
posted by advicepig at 10:47 AM on February 26, 2018

Another blocker is Purify.
posted by jadepearl at 2:00 AM on February 28, 2018

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