Wednesday, May 9, 2012


My sister and I have been talking about booking an Alaska cruise instead of a family trip to Asia this fall. After I got home today, I called her up on FaceTime to coordinate searching/booking. We originally were going with Disney Cruises for my nieces but they were really expensive. After asking around a bit, we decided to try Royal Caribbean.

Using my mom's computer, I searched for "royal caribbean" and it returned a bunch of links. Since RCL is a huge company, the first few links were at When I clicked on the link, it redirected me to I've been getting their email newsletters (voluntarily) for many years so I recognize the website immediately. I tried this several times and each time I was redirected and could not even go back to previous pages. Somehow I was able to get to the RCL site and Costco using a different browser and we booked our cruise for August.

Afterwards, I ran Malwarebytes and it found a Trojan.happili infection. After cleaning and rebooting, the RCL search links worked fine. Of course, this pissed me off. I was actually going to use Vacations To Go to book my cruise but I ended up going through Costco. The CEO of VTG signed his email newsletters personally so I sent him a terse email telling him how unappreciative I am about him hijacking my computer. After reading about the Trojan some more, I'm not 100% sure that VTG willing used this despicable advertising practice... they can't be that stupid, right? Let's see how he responds.
I’ve been receiving your newsletter for many years and today I finally booked my first cruise. However, it was not with your company because you used a Trojan to hijack my browser. I can tolerate spam emails but infecting your potential customer’s computers for profit is disgusting and bad for business.

To research an Alaskan cruise, I Googled “royal caribbean” and many links were returned. The first one said “Royal Caribbean Cruises – Official Site” with an URL of When I clicked on the link however, it brought me to your website I tried this several times and got the same result. After scanning my computer for virus/spyware and finding/removing Trojan.happili, the Royal Caribbean link took me to the official RCL site. Until yesterday, I would have considered using your company to book my first cruise but I ended up booking two balcony staterooms through Costco. Your prices may or may not be less, but that becomes irrelevant once you or your proxy infected and hijacked my computer.

I hope you reconsider your advertising strategy. Until then, I’m recommending all my friends and family to stay away from your website.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good chance it was on your computer before you visited the site. It's not something that seven a disreputable company uses