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BitTorrent Websites Hijacked for Pushing Malicious Software

Hackers recently compromised BitTorrent.com and uTorrent.com, 2 well-known BitTorrent websites, and manipulated them for initiating malware downloads; published Theregister.co.uk dated September 13, 2011.

Importantly, BitTorrent works like one P2P (peer-to-peer) file-sharing protocol to facilitate communication.

The website hijacking resulted in visitors to the said sites attempting at acquiring file-sharing application to instead download malicious software onto their PCs leaving them stuck.

Moreover, the hacking attacks against the websites resulted in the replacement of the normal software downloads from the sites with a scareware i.e. fake anti-virus named Security Shield, cautioned one security advisory. Hence anybody who took down as well as loaded applications from those websites onto their PCs must run a virus scan without delay, the advisory elaborated.

Actually, when planted, Security Shield serves fake warnings that there are multiple malicious programs infecting the computer therefore, the user requires purchasing a tool for disinfecting the same. Essentially, the assault impacted just those end-users who took down as well as loaded applications from utorrent.com and bittorrent.com over the one-hr-and-fifty-min duration when the websites remained hijacked. Anybody performing the act earlier was undisturbed.

Specifically, Simon Morris Vice-President of Software at BitTorrent stated that it was being advised that anybody who took down applications should scrutinize his PC for infection via enabling an anti-malware scan. According to him, BitTorrent regarded its systems' security as also that of its users with utmost gravity. The company sincerely regretted for users who turned victims of the hacks, Morris added. Torrentfreak.com published this on September 14, 2011.

Worryingly, it's due to the above types of incidents which prompted SonicWall a security company to highlight within the H1-2011 report it published recently that scareware scams ranked No.1 among the listed malware that were most widespread during the period. Indeed, the 'widely prevalent' nature of scareware programs is partially due to its adaptability also as increasing dependence on further genuine appearing interfaces along with sophisticated social engineering tactics for contaminating end-users.

Eventually, cyber-criminals abusing BitTorrent websites for pushing malware onto people's computers aren't unknown. During April 2010, a malware scam attempted at tricking BitTorrent visitors into paying money to illicitly download copyrighted content.

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