Practical Technology

for practical people.

Fake virus infection Web pages are everywhere


Everyone has seen a fake virus infection Web page from time to time. They pop up on your screen looking like a perfectly normal Windows page except they tell you that your PC is infected by a virus and you need to click here to either fix the problem or download a program that will clean out the bug for you. The only problem is it’s a lie. It’s actually an attack designed to get you to download malware.

Usually these fake Windows pages-they’re actually Web pages-pop up when you’re visiting a dodgy Web site. But, even the New York Times isn’t immune to attacks like this. Over this last weekend, September 12-13, I was startled to see an apparent Windows page show up that read, “Warning!!! Your system requires immediate anti-viruses scan. Personal Antivirus can perform fast and free virus malicious software scan of your computer.”

Now, I wouldn’t fall for this, but I can see how many people would. At a glance, it looks real and the last thing most people expect to see coming from the New York Times is malware. But, that’s exactly what it was.

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