21st December 2007

Virus Marketing –

When I ran a computer store in the late 90’s, a lot of people would bring in computers with viruses and spyware to be removed, and they would usually ask us what the “point” was in these acts of cyber vandalism.

Other than sending out e-mail blasts and infecting other users, or destroying data on the machines most of the viruses were just a nuisance and served no purpose other than to annoy.

Early in the century, spyware started getting more intelligent, with key loggers and data miners routinely packaged with “free software” that started gathering credit card numbers and other sensitive information from people’s computers. In other words, the cyber vandals figured out how to begin making a profit.

Well now, a new opportunity appears to have opened up for in the form of a Trojan that hijacks Google’s text ads and replaces them with ads from a different provider.

According to Media Post this morning, it was discovered by BitDefender, and was –  “identified as Trojan.Qhost.WU, causes an infected computer’s browser to read ads from a server at a “replacement address” instead of from Google.”

At this point Google has not yet commented on their blog, but I expect them to soon.

It should go without saying that you need to protect yourself from viruses and spyware, but since I was in the computer repair business for year,  I know that it needs SHOUTING…Protect yourself from spyware and viruses

I wonder how you sign your business up for the Trojan ad programs?

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    One Response to Trojan Marketing Subverts Google Ads

    1. From what i understand the problem Google faces is that the searcher’s computer is infected with the trojan which will replace adwords shown in SERPs with other ads from different providers. If this is the case, it is very difficult for Google to take control of the situation because ultimately it is the user’s responsibility to clear his/her own viruses. Unless Google is offering vouchers for virus removal software? I doubt so…

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