Gizmodo says sorry for malware suckerpunch

Staff on Macs late to spot hack


Tech blog Gizmodo has been suckerpunched by cyber scoundrels, who placed malware-loaded web ads on the site.

Gizmodo is the latest online publication to have been targeted by villainous hackers. The site coughed to the nasty scam and issued an apology today.

“Guys, 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,” wrote Gizmodo’s Brian Lam. “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.”

Lam added that staffers at Gizmodo, which is owned by Gawker Media, might’ve spotted the malware sooner but for the fact that everyone uses Mac OS X or Linux machines.

“Everything should be cleared up but you should be checking ‘qegasysguard.exe’ if you're experiencing random popups,” he said. “Be careful, load up some antivirus and make sure your system is clean. I'm sorry.”

A similar scam fooled the New York Times into hosting malware on its homepage in September this year.

Just yesterday, The Guardian newspaper’s jobs website warned 500,000 users that hackers may have got hold of private information held on the site after a "sophisticated and deliberate" attack.

Anti-virus powerhouse Sophos was quick to issue a statement about the latest high-profile hack to strike, er, hacks.

"By hitting one of the biggest blogs in the world, these hackers are aiming high," said Sophos tech guru Graham Cluley. "Their plan was to infect as many computer users as possible with their malicious adverts.

"They know Gizmodo gets a huge amount of traffic - once they infected the site through their adverts they could just lie in wait for their victims to visit.

“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." ®

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