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September 14th, 2009

Hackers Broke Into New York Times Banner System, Pushing Fake Anti-virus Malvertisements

The New York Times was co-opted into pushing fake anti-virus malvertisements after hackers broke into its banner ad feed over the weekend. Surfers visiting the site were confronted by malicious pop-up window that falsely warned that their systems were infected. The ruse was designed to scare people into buying a clean-up utility of little or no value.

The NYT issued a warning on the front page of the website and via its Twitter feed on Sunday. The paper explained that the pop-ups were the result of an “unauthorized advertisement”:

Some readers have seen a pop-up box warning them about a virus and directing them to a site that claims to offer antivirus software. We believe this was generated by an unauthorized advertisement and are working to prevent the problem from recurring. If you see such a warning, we suggest that you not click on it. Instead, quit and restart your Web browser. Questions and comments can be sent to [email protected].

Trend reports that the scareware involved in the attack was served up by German ISP Hetzner AG. Similar attacks have hit media outlets including The Daily Mail and ITV of recent months. Sophos reckons that the prime responsibility in defending against the attack relies on ad-serving networks rather than media outlets.

Credit: The Register

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    One Response to “Hackers Broke Into New York Times Banner System, Pushing Fake Anti-virus Malvertisements”

    1. Many heartfelt thanks, I have struggled to remove this intrusive and totally annoying fake crap for over three days now, if I hadn’t found your suggestion I would have been driven quite crazy indeed.The world needs more people just like you. You have enabled me to retain my sanity.I deeply appreciate your helpful contribution are The King .

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