Hackers infect websites to dupe Internet users

By Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The computer security firm Websense has issued a warning that hackers have infected a large number of websites with malicious code designed in such a way as to dupe Internet users.

Hundreds of thousands of legitimate websites have been booby trapped to redirect visitors to "lizamoon" addresses where they are greeted with bogus warnings that their computers have been compromised, so says Websense.

The ruse is designed to frighten people into downloading and installing fake anti-virus software, referred to as "scare-ware," portrayed as a Windows Security Center.

People who fall for the ploy, perhaps even paying for downloads, are actually installing malicious software that hackers can use to their advantage.

We have been here already a couple of years back and we are here, once again. People do not seem to learn.

The moral of the story: When a website tells you that your computer has been compromised by viruses, etc. do not believe the message. There is no website that does do that unless it is a security software site where you, actually, physically, have initialized a scan.

No website, let me reiterate that, has the facility to scan your computer for viruses, etc., and thus is not able to know whether or not your computer is comprised, and therefore any such message is a fake and should be ignored and you should leave that site pronto.

No anti-virus software is as good as a suspicious mind and I would advise that you treat each and every message that pops up on a website as suspicious and as a potential threat.

I further suggest that you (a) get yourself a safe browser – Firefox is a good one – and all add-ons that can make browsing safer. Firefox does have sensors on board that will tell you when it suspects a site to be unsafe, displaying behavior that may indicate that something is amiss and also places that have unsafe security certificates.

Let's be careful out there...

© 2011