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karateckie

join:2009-04-27
Kansas City, MO
reply to moonpuppy

Re: foxnews.com infected?

Just a note to add:
We've had several users at our company affected by this same issue. Before today there were 3, and now as of today there were 2 more. This prompted us to temporarily block foxnews.com. Though we know the issue is not limited to Fox nor is it directly the fault of foxnews.com, all of our virus issues in the last week and a half have come from browsing to this site. Hours spent solving virus problems + ease of blocking Fox = no more foxnews.com.


Doctor Four
My other vehicle is a TARDIS
Premium
join:2000-09-05
Dallas, TX
said by karateckie:

Just a note to add:
We've had several users at our company affected by this same issue. Before today there were 3, and now as of today there were 2 more. This prompted us to temporarily block foxnews.com. Though we know the issue is not limited to Fox nor is it directly the fault of foxnews.com, all of our virus issues in the last week and a half have come from browsing to this site. Hours spent solving virus problems + ease of blocking Fox = no more foxnews.com.
Something similar happened last week at our company, though not with foxnews.com. There was a malvertisement at playlist.com (a music streaming site, I believe), which infected or attempted to infect several users. As a result, streaming audio sites are banned until IT can find a way to block the malicious ads that are hijacking users.

Although this sounds like a simple answer, it is really a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. And malvertisements aren't solely found on music streaming sites or those owned by Rupert Murdoch.

Any site that uses an advertiser which accepts an ad campaign on short notice without doing some investigation into the ad buyers can get hit by this; Google's Doubleclick ad network, one of the largest, got hit last year sometime.

A better solution is using Firefox with a hosts file and NoScript. I do this on my home PC, and while I have encountered attempts at getting redirected by malvertisements, they have never succeeded due to that combination. The redirect usually ends up on a blank page.
--
"The trouble with computers, of course, is that they are very sophisticated idiots." - Doctor Who (from Robot)

karateckie

join:2009-04-27
Kansas City, MO
said by Doctor Four:

Although this sounds like a simple answer, it is really a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. And malvertisements aren't solely found on music streaming sites or those owned by Rupert Murdoch.

Any site that uses an advertiser which accepts an ad campaign on short notice without doing some investigation into the ad buyers can get hit by this; Google's Doubleclick ad network, one of the largest, got hit last year sometime.
I agree with you Doctor. I know of a few sites with similar issues lately (there was a recent article I found...from early April...about the same issue with Yahoo). It's interesting about the playlist.com thing. I use that site and will have to keep an eye on it. Anyway, we have a very large network where it would be a nightmare to migrate everyone to Firefox and train them to use no script. While I use the same setup at home and on my computers at work, it's not a viable solution in our environment.

However blocking ads is a great solution! Unfortunately, we are in the middle of working out how to block them (we used to block them through our web filtering provider..which has changed). They new web filtering provider can't/won't block ads. I suppose it's the nature of the provider, being a free service they advertise on their sites and thus don't want to provide ad blocking. Other options are hosts files (but maintaining them in a large network...ugh), not to mention sending Dequests to 127.0.0.1 take awhile to time out, and if put in a DNS server can seriously cripple it with many clients.

Anyway...the end result is for the time being, Fox News is blocked. We haven't seen issues from other sites at this point, and eventually it will be unblocked.

I think the real issue lies in the websites who allow advertising on their site. They need to take some responsibility in what they are displaying, whether it comes from their own servers or not. The end result is that Fox, Yahoo, Google and others are being poorly represented when someone browses to what they believe should be a solid, and trusted site, only to get a virus. Companies need to demand accountability from the ad providers that pay them to display ads.

In the meantime...to minimize risks we'll block any site that we have issues with, as well as research better alternative to blocking ads