Google's blog software hijacked by scammers

Blogger.com is being hijacked to spread malware through fake blogs

Google's blogger.com is being hijacked to spread malware through fake blogs, a security vendor has warned.

According to Fortinet, Genuine-looking blogs on topics as wide-ranging as "Star Wars, school, furniture, Christmas, cars and girlfriends" are now being created to host a variety of script-initiated malware. It would be impossible for visitors to spot the danger of these sites, which now number in the hundreds, the company said. Although they look genuine, it appears that all the sites have been specially crafted to fool visitors.

Fortinet gives examples of the sites, including one for a supposed fan of the Honda CR450 motor car, which attempts to infect visitors with the Wonka Trojan. In another, the fake blog redirects visitors to a store front purporting to be Pharmacy Express, a phishing site that has turned up in many spam emails distributed by the Stration worm.

"These are not legitimate blogs that were compromised. They appear to be deliberately set up to promote phishing, which is against our terms of service. We are investigating, and blogs found to include malicious code or promote phishing will be deleted," Google said in a statement to CNET.

The fake blog scam is another example of social networking sites - the Internet's big growth area - being exploited for gain. In recent times, MySpace and YouTube have all been used to host or redirect to malware. Last October, MySpace was used as the lure for phishing, while earlier in the year its users were infected with adware from the site.

In November, it was the turn of another Google company, YouTube, to play host attempted redirect scams, this time using fake porn videos as the bait.

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John E. Dunn

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