I’ve just recovered from a bad virus at home. Not H1N1 but a nasty malware bug known as the “Personal Security Center” infection. My home laptop has had it before, but this one was particularly insidious. It’s a “security system” that pops up on your computer and claims to have detected all kinds of viruses that don’t exist. Its goal is to drive you to a web site where you will pay for a security service that you don’t need.
This particularly infection took over my computer, blocking us from staying on any Web site for more than a few minutes. It also prevented my Norton (Symantec) Security System from activating.
I eventually got rid of it thanks to finding some Internet tips. (If you need help, let me know.) But I couldn’t figure out how I picked it up. I never open attachments on unfamiliar e-mail, and my system is pretty good about keeping out malware.
Then this week a new report came out from Palo Alto-based Dasient which contends that malware infections have soared recently. Why? It’s not because of infected e-mails. It’s because users like me are picking them up directly from everyday Web sites such as FoxSports. Even the technology blog Gizmodo was said to be infected.
The reports says that more than 560,000 Web sites (5.5 million pages of content) were infected with malware in the fourth quarter of 2009. That’s nearly doubled from a year earlier.
Of course, Dasient, founded by Neil Daswani of Google, wants you to know about this because it is selling Malware security systems.
Sometimes it feels like people are either trying to make our computers sick or sell us a cure. Anyway, here’s a link to the Daisent report if you want to check it out.
– Paul Gullixson