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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

File this one under "Is nothing sacred anymore?"

Jerry Kidd by GRI Instructor Jerry Kidd, GRI, CRS, CRB
Teaches GRI Course 107 - Real Property, Tax and Exchanging
View future classes taught by Jerry Kidd

It seems that the New York Times has implemented an automated method for advertisers to submit ads that the Times then runs on it's web site. The way it works is that an advertiser fills in a form and pays for it with a credit card and voila! Instant ad.

It all sounds perfectly harmless until you factor in these thoughts: Hackers have bought ad space on the NYT site, placed links in the ad to malicious websites and paid for the ads with stolen credit cards! Once the ad is placed, it shows up as a pop up to an unsuspecting visitor to the times web site. If you are running Windows you run the risk of being infected by the rogue sites that the pop up takes you to. It's not even necessary for you to click on anything to get infected.

So, what should you do? First of all, it's sheer folly to be operating a Windows machine without keeping your anti-malware suite up to date. You do run a security suite don't you?

Second, be sure to enable automatic updates inside of Windows so that all of the Microsoft fixes, patches and repairs to it's operating system get installed on your computer. These updates happen weekly and sometimes more frequently, so it's important to stay current.

To read a little more on this and to see a picture of what one of the pop ups looks like, read this article.

I don't think that this problem is unique to the New York Times, and I am sure that we will see more of this in the near future. Keep those computers updated!

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