Scareware launched from blog advertising

According to the BBC Technology website, visitors to the technology blog Gizmodo have been warned that they may have picked up malware.

According to the BBC, the security firm Sophos analyzed the incident and said that the website was delivering advertisements "laced with malware" last week. Following further investigation into the matter, Gizmodo published a statement where they confessed that the website was tricked into running Suzuki adverts which were in fact from hackers.

Scareware works as an indirect form of computer infection. It tricks the computer into thinking it has been infected with a virus and prompts the often non-discerning user to download 'remedies' to combat the infection - remedies which can often be harmful and give criminals access to personal information such as credit card details.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos commented further regarding this situation - commenting on the hackers involved in this crime. Currently Gizmodo reaps a massive amount of daily internet traffic, providing tech news to more than 3.1 million page views per day.

"By hitting one of the biggest blogs in the world, these hackers are aiming high. What is particularly audacious about this plot is that the criminals appear to have posed as legitimate representatives of Suzuki in order to plant their dangerous code on Gizmodo's popular website."

Gizmodo has issued an apology on their website stating: "I'm really sorry but we had some malware running on our site in ad boxes for a little while last week on Suzuki ads. They somehow fooled our ad sales team through an elaborate scam. It's taken care of now, and only a few people should have been affected, but this isn't something we take lightly as writers, editors and tech geeks."

Gizmodo blamed much of the problem with the fact that staff use Linux operating systems on their production machines for "not noticing sooner." Gizmodo then advised concerned users to load some up-to-date antivirus software to ensure a clean system.

According to the BBC, the security firm Symantec has said more than 40 million people have fallen victim to scareware scams in the past 12 months. It also said that there are 250 versions of scareware and estimated that criminals can earn more than £750,000 each a year via such scams.

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