Hacker hits Kaspersky website

The security company's website was compromised to push fake antivirus products

Scammers who try to trick victims into downloading fake antivirus software can strike almost anywhere. On Sunday they hit the website of Kaspersky Lab, a well-known antivirus vendor.

Someone took advantage of a bug in a Web program used by the Kasperskyusa.com website and reprogrammed it to try to trick visitors into downloading a fake product, Kaspersky confirmed Tuesday. Kaspersky didn't identify the flaw, but said it was in a "third-party application" used by the website.

"As a result of the attack, users trying to download Kaspersky Lab's consumer products were redirected to a malicious website," the antivirus vendor said. The website caused a pop-up window to appear that simulated a virus scan of the user's PC, and offered to install an antivirus program that was in fact bogus.

This is a typical trick for fake-antivirus scammers, who are constantly looking for new ways to trick victims into buying their products. In the past they've been known to pose as legitimate online advertisers and then suddenly switch their ad inventory from legitimate-looking ads to these fake pop-up messages.

Security experts say the safest thing to do when one of these fake antivirus messages pops up is to simply kill the Web browser. On Windows, this can be done by hitting ctrl-alt-delete and ending the browser process in the Task Manager.

According to Kaspersky, its website was redirecting users to the rogue antivirus site for about three-and-a-half hours Sunday. The company did a complete audit of its websites afterwards "to ensure they're running fully updated code."

In discussion forums, users complained that the site was trying to download fake antivirus software called Security Tools.

This isn't the first time Kaspersky has had to audit its websites after an incident. In February 2009 a hacker was able to break into the company's U.S. support site after discovering a Web programming flaw. That flaw could have given the hacker access to customer e-mail addresses and product activation codes via a common attack technique called SQL injection.

Nobody's information was compromised in Sunday's attack, Kaspersky said. "However, Kaspersky Lab takes any attempt to compromise its security seriously," the company said. "Our researchers are currently working on identifying any possible consequences of the attack for affected users, and are available to provide help to remove the fake antivirus software."

Robert McMillan covers computer security and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Robert on Twitter at @bobmcmillan. Robert's e-mail address is robert_mcmillan@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags intrusionsecuritylegalinternetkaspersky labcybercrime

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?