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Google Warns of Badware on MCA’s Site

Search engine giant Google has claimed that the website of Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) in Sydney hosts badware or malicious software. Google is, therefore, restricting users from reaching the site. It also warns them to visit the URL directly by typing www.mca.com.au, but at their own risk.

Google.com.au warns that its independent investigation has observed some part of the Website the user is trying to access containing badware or harboring links to badware, as reported by SC Magazine on June 13, 2007.

Sydney's MCA Website was found to distribute malevolent software just after news of similar hacking at Sydney Opera House's Website emerged. Until this month, Google displayed the Sydney Opera House warning through links to its site. However, the malicious Trojan was removed from the site where the virus tried to seize sensitive information like online banking data from victims' PCs.

Nothing was clear about the kind of malware MCA was hosting. Kym Elphinstone, spokeswoman for MCA, when enquired about the problem, said that they would immediately bring the issue to the notice of their IT people, as published by Theage on June 13, 2007. The problem was rectified, according to Elphinstone, though she did not have information after that.

Andrew Antal, marketing director for security firm MessageLabs, was sure that the malicious software was an information-stealing bug. Antal said, whether it was a Trojan or any other form of malware, the purpose was to capture people's information either via treacherous means or by compromising their PCs, according to news reported by Theage on June 13, 2007.

Google is a member of StopBadware.org, a joint collaboration of the Berkman Center for Internet and the Oxford Internet Institute, Society at Harvard University, Google, Sun Microsystems, and Lenovo. StopBadware.org functions as the 'global neighborhood watch' with the aim to fight out 'badware', the term it chooses to describe undesirable software including malware, spyware, and Trojans.

But security vendor Websense's spokesperson said that the firm did not know of any malware in MCA's website. And a Sophos representative declined from commenting about the discovery, as published by SC Magazine on June 13, 2007.

Related article: Google Rectifies Gmail flaw in Three Days

» SPAMfighter News - 6/30/2007

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