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P-I Site’s Advertisements Attacked by Computer Virus

Some parts of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer Wesite targeted by a system virus that might have spread through online ads for NWAutos, as reported by seattlepi on July 13, 2008.

The infected NWAutos advertisements were removed from the site on the morning of July 13, 2008, destroying all possibilities of installing a virus by visiting Seattle Post-Intelligencer Web pages. Later, the virus was removed from the ads and they were returned to the site, but Google has not removed its warnings.

The VP of Online Media, The Seattle Times which manages advertising for both Times and P-I, Patricia Lee Smith, said that they do not believe that the virus could produce harmful effects on users, as reported by seattlepi on July 13, 2008.

Therefore, it seems that the aim of the virus was to create a mess in the experience of the site.

Further, security analysts commented that the system virus is a man-made that affects a file or program on the user's system. Every time the infected program is operated, the virus also starts working. It circulates itself by affecting other files on the same system.

According to the investigation carried so far, it has been discovered that this particular virus emerged in the starting of July 2008 and has affected almost 50 sites.

Further, Google has traced the problem on the site of P-I in one of its regular scan for viruses. Also, the advertisements of NWAutos appear on the site of The Seattle Times. But its pages did not get the Google caution as they were not detected in the random virus scan.

Patricia commented that though some Web pages of The Seattle Times were unavailable on morning ofJuly 13, 2008, the problem was repaired later.

The server which hosts the ads of NWAutos, Gabriels Technology Solutions, a national advertising vendor - was attacked by the so-called "Asprox SQL injection attack" and unintentionally passing the virus through its ads.

Though the virus is not to be taken as malicious, the users who visited the site on July 13, 2008 morning should operate their anti virus software, as a precautionary action, to avoid any danger.

Related article: P2P Software Could Install Spyware, Adware

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