Monday, September 14, 2009

Read All About It: Fake Anti-Virus Hits The Times

And, if you thought no web site was sacred, here's something that will make you a believer. Ads for bogus anti-virus software -- you know the kind that actually infects instead of protects -- ran over the weekend on the web sites of one of those most staid of institutions: The New York Times.

But The Times caught on to the scam and alerted readers on Sunday. There's nothing particularly brilliant about the exploit. Ordinary sites, not just porn and gambling sites, have all fallen to malware attacks. In fact, a recent Network World article listed "polluted ads" as one of seven leading security threats against web sites.

Technical details were blogged by Troy Davis and in Computer World. The Times itself provided advice on protection from the scam, as did Keith Farrell of bMighty. The rogue anti-virus, at this point, according to The Times, basically doesn't steal data -- yet -- but instead continues to popup a fake scanner with links to purchase bogus anti-virus protection.

This trend of bogus anti-virus hitting everyday web sites is something to watch since it can only be on the rise.