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NY Times victimized

Malicious Ad Swap

     
8:45 pm on Sep 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Over the weekend an advertiser swapped their ads, and the new ad was actually a malicious ad. I saw it happen on Sunday but apparently the malicious ads started on Saturday.

The New York Times Company said on Monday that NYTimes.com was the victim of an attacker who first posed as a legitimate advertiser, then started hitting site visitors with aggressive advertisements that appeared to be warnings about viruses.

According to the article, the advertiser posted seemingly legitimate ads for a week prior to the swap, presuming (correctly I might add) that no one would be around over the weekend to stop the malicious ads.

Of course a lot of their readers are hot under the collar, understandable. Most of the net savvy readers saw the scam for what it was and closed their browser. Others did not take the correct action, and instead clicked on the message that told them their computer was infected and needed to run the scan (Click Here Now). Possibly a few people are now just a little smarter about browsing in the new millennium... possibly.

NY Times story [bits.blogs.nytimes.com]

3:00 am on Sept 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the story. The link above goes to the NYT's Gadgetwise Blog. They now have some coverage on the main website, too:

[nytimes.com...]

3:10 am on Sept 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I never got a virus from a newspaper.
6:07 am on Sept 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It certainly isn't unknown for rogue advertisers to swap ads once they are into a campaign, replacing the legitimate looking ads with ones that wouldn't have been accepted but never something on this scale.
6:55 pm on Sept 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I've seen this on a few major sites that display advertising, including a few different newspapers and a commonly used language reference. The presentation of these error messages is becoming more believable-- they seem to sniff out your OS to match your system dialogue box style.
4:18 am on Sept 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I never got a virus from a newspaper.

I wouldn't recommend picking up a discarded NY Times on a subway with the swine flue going around. ;)

3:08 pm on Sept 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Experience would indicate the next step for the "rogue advertisers" will be phishing for account information from legitimate advertisers (for every online advertising media) and then replacing their ads with scumware. That is if this wasn't the way this was actually done in the first place.
5:46 am on Sept 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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> According to the article, the advertiser posted seemingly legitimate ads for a week prior to the swap, presuming (correctly I might add) that no one would be around over the weekend to stop the malicious ads.

Anyone else notice the extra amount of bad ads over weekends on various sites?

p/g

(I can see geeks with spy cams watching parking lots to see when the bosses have left the building. :/)