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January 9th, 2009 Major League Baseball Website Infected Visitors Through Ads

Major League Baseball’s website has been serving ads designed to infect its considerable base of visitors with malware. ScanSafe, a company that provides malware scanning for large companies, tracked banner ads served from the popular website for more than 72 hours.

The ads present visitors with a popup masquerading as a Windows dialog box that informs them their machine has been struck by spyware and offers a rogue anti-virus program that supposedly will fix the problem. ScanSafe researcher Mary Landesman said the outbreak was discovered on January 4. She searched in vain for a way to alert MLB administrators to the problem and spent the next couple of days watching helplessly as the attack continued unabated.

“They definitely don’t make it easy,” Landesman said. “Across the line, there really needs to be better accountability, in particular for sites that are really high profile.” It’s not the first time has served malicious ads. In late 2007, ads dished out on the site performed drive-by downloads that silently infected many of its users.

According to The Register, MLB spokesman Matthew Gould said the tainted ads were the result of an individual who claimed to sell ads through a company the website has done business with before. After the scam came to light, MLB officials discovered this individual had no affiliation with the company, which Gould declined to name because he says MLB is pursuing legal action.

Gould said MLB officials believe the ads were taken down on Monday, less than 24 hours after going live. “As soon as we were made aware of the problem we removed the ad in all instances across our network,” he said.

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    One Response to “ Major League Baseball Website Infected Visitors Through Ads”

    1. ravishankar ramaswami Says:
      May 28th, 2012 at 7:28 am

      The MLB website has been doing the same to my computer over the last several days and while I am quick to close the window it is still inexplicable how MLB has still not sorted this problem first reported in 2009

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