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Why is toms hardware infected with a virus?

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February 9, 2010 6:24:31 PM

hey, just clicked on an article on your website and immediatly received the "you must install antivirus" popup that infects people with the Personal Antivirus virus.

You might want to get that looked at.

More about : toms hardware infected virus

February 9, 2010 10:16:24 PM

I too have been served the Sysguard "Antivirus Soft" rogue malware program twice today. The first time I had walked away from the PC while I had an article up to find it had tried to install itself and the second time I had just loaded the home page and it was immediately closed with the popup saying "You must install antivirus software" etc etc. I have lost all respect for THG and will likely not be a regular here anymore. :non: 
February 9, 2010 10:35:35 PM

What spyware software do you use and what browser?

It could be an advert that links to an infected site. It could also be that someone has targeted toms somehow.

Related resources
February 10, 2010 1:55:36 AM

THG doesn't place most ads themselves (except the full page themes), they are just Google ads which cycle automatically.
February 10, 2010 7:28:10 PM

Well, i have been on some recently and have not seen this, but regardless, it does happen sometimes on all sites. I'd suggest keeping your antivirus up to date and run malwarebytes periodically.
February 11, 2010 10:19:41 AM

I've had this happen a couple of times here, but at no other sites, each time whilst clicking on a news link. It would take me to the news link, and then redirect to another site, today it was www1.your-pcprotection.in, yesterday was ay-global-antivirus.com.

It may be google adverts, it may be Toms Hardware itself. Either way it'll be Toms Hardware that gets the bad rep.
February 11, 2010 10:38:31 AM

Ok, think I've worked it out. Each time you click on a News link to tomshardware.co.uk, it goes straight there. However, if you click on a News link to tomsguide.com/us, it is actually going via tv-advert.net (you can see this if you check your back button, it is the previous page visited once you reach tomsguide.com/us). I think it is tv-advert.net that is sometimes springing these 'fake' AV products on you.

(Edit - clarified that it was tomsguide.com/us, not tomsguide.us.)
February 11, 2010 10:52:08 AM

I was unable to reproduce the redirect to tv-advert.net, even with the adblocker disabled.
February 11, 2010 1:13:49 PM

Well, here you can see the page that is inserted, for me, between the Toms Hardware Guide and Toms Guide pages when I clicked on a Toms Guide news item listed on Toms Hardware Guide News Index.



Not sure why it's only happening to some people.

I don't get the AV take-overs every time, just once today and once yesterday so far, each time clicking on a Toms Guide news item listed on the Toms Hardware Guide News Index.

It also means you can't just return to the main page by clicking Back once, as it'll take you back to the forwarding page, then forward again to the Toms Guide page (or sometimes a dodgy AV 'virus').
February 11, 2010 1:32:40 PM

Interesting, I think it just fools IE into thinking it's a redirect, as if you check the Back button before the Toms Guide (or US Toms Hardware) loads, the tv-advert.net line doesn't appear, but when it finishes loading, it does.

Looks like Toms Hardware Guide UK isn't actually affected, it's just the dodgy sister companies that are pairing with dodgy advertising companies that are happy hosting very dodgy adverts, and of course being linked here without a warning.
February 11, 2010 8:51:56 PM

Had it on 2 seperate computers on two seperate ADSL networks. Every time it is connectig to news articles.
February 11, 2010 9:36:15 PM

HAH! Haven't seen no ads in ages....
FF + AdBlock Plus + NoScript FTW!
February 12, 2010 12:11:07 AM

I've PMed this to jpishgar.
February 12, 2010 3:18:41 PM

randomizer said:
I've PMed this to jpishgar.


Looking into it.
Anonymous
February 13, 2010 1:11:49 PM

My wife's computer got infected with this type of virus , she had let her anti-virus software expire. How can I get rid of it? It wont let download new anti-virus software.
February 13, 2010 7:14:04 PM

I've seen this redirecting behaviour on another site that I frequent alot and it went undiagnosed for a long time. The symptoms were identical to what we have here in that a small number of pages that load with result in a meta redirect to a fake anti virus site called Total Security attempting to fear people into downloading their 'product'.

In the end the following link was passed to the hosting company which assisted in removing the infection. The problem is at a server level as opposed to the website level, so individual site owners can never track down the problem to their site.

http://blog.unmaskparasites.com/2009/07/23/goscanpark-13-facts-about-malicious-server-wide-meta-redirects/
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