Feeds

New York Times pwned to serve scareware pop-ups

Gray Lady gets goosed

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

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 (extract below) 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 "unauthorised advertisement".

Some NYTimes.com 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 webeditor@nytimes.com.

Screenshots of the rogue antivirus attack in progress can be found in a Trend Micro blog here. And, for the technically minded, there's an analysis of the code behind the attack by security researcher Troy Davis here.

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. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.