Gizmodo duped by scammers, publishes malware-laced ads

Filed as News on October 27, 2009 1:34 pm

gizmodo-we-had-malwareWhen it comes to being scammed, even the big guys can be taken in from time to time.

Gizmodo, Gawker Media’s hugely popular technology/gadget blog, has had to apologise to its readers for allowing ads containing malware to be published on its site during the past week.

Their ad sales team was duped by an elaborate scam that would have infected some users with software that may have caused random passwords and possibly initiated phishing attacks.

Security firm Sophos said that the hackers were “aiming high” as they posed as representatives of Suzuki – the ad that contained the malicious code.

Interestingly, no-one on the editorial team at Gizmodo uses Windows-based PCs, a fact which Brian Lam said made detection take longer.

It’s a lesson for both publishers and readers. In particular, readers need not have visited “dodgy” sites to be at some risk of getting nasty software on their PC, which is why it’s vital to run a fully patched operating system, web browser and anti-virus software, and not to enter personal information on arbitrary web sites / pop-up windows that may appear.

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