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Banner Ads Holding Malware Swamp Social Networking Sites

Individuals visiting MySpace online forums via outdated browsers and auxiliary media player programs like Adobe Flash Player and QuickTime are being advised to bypass downloads that embed a flood of malicious software on their computers, said Security Fix.

As per security experts at Security Fix, the spyware, such as ClickSpring, Virtumonde and WinFixer, are promoted on the social networking sites, thanks to web banners. Not just MySpace but several other social networking sites, such as the German website Blick and Excite, are also displaying the malevolent web banners.

Moreover, as per security expert and Most Valuable Professional (MVP) at Microsoft, Sandi Hardmeier, malicious Shockwave Flash content embedded in banner ads carried on the search engine Excite.com. The advertisement diverts the individual to a web page that attempts to download "PerformanceOptimizer" - scareware program that sends fake or magnified system security risk notifications on the individual's machine, primarily to induce them to purchase malware to weed out the alleged security troubles, reported Washingtonpost on January 3, 2007.

According to security experts, the sites and advertising networks should do a superior job protecting their networks against this kind of malware. However, since a lot of the present protection against the malevolent matter in advertizements is performed in an automatic way, the danger from malware-infected web banners on key websites is not likely to fade so soon.

The events are the most recent instances of the cyber criminals repeatedly gaining unlawful access onto users' computers through the systems possessed by advertising networks like RealMedia and DoubleClick. Hackers normally set up fake firms that profess to be genuine publicists and subsequently pass on malicious software into their web banners. The networks put in hard work to get rid of the infected banner ads but are unsuccessful sometimes.

Security experts said that when three websites have been found promoting malware carrying banner ads, there are bright prospects that other sites are carrying out the same practice.

This is the precise reason why it is so vital for users of Windows not to postpone deploying security updates for every software program, and not merely the operating system and the browser.

Related article: Binary Agent Plants Stuxnet with USB

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