You've got that malware feeling

My apologies to The Righteous Brothers.
Lately I’m being tasked on a frequent basis to get rid of someone’s new infection of rouge “anti-virus” malware.  To say the least, these are pesky pains in the posterior to get rid of.  Each time I diligently tried to track down where the infection originated, I was given the same type of answer, “I only surf legitimate sites and didn’t click on anything I shouldn’t have”.  At first I thought this was people’s natural reaction to cover-up their own mischief, but since everyone said the same thing it led me to believe that there must be something happening on these ‘legitimate’ sites that actually causes the infection.

But what could it be?  It wasn’t very likely that a variety of top flight sites would suddenly implant something so insidious, but there had to be something.  What was common among these sites?

Then the light bulb went on.  I bet it’s the ads on the sites!  But no, what ad network would allow such a thing?

Well it turns out, that some of the biggest, most well-known ad serving networks are; according to recent information from Avast.  CNet has published an article with some of the findings.

So what’s being done about it?  Apparently not much, except a lot of finger pointing.  The ad serving networks seem to think it’s the publisher’s responsibility and vice versa.  Please for the sake of all of us, somebody take ownership and get this resolved!

In the meantime, stop the malware in its tracks by keeping high quality anti-virus/anti-malware running and up-to-date.  Most importantly, always install security updates for all of your applications as this is typically how malware creeps in.


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