AOL ignoring Winfixer problem

  Nellie2 23:05 26 Mar 2007

You may or may not be aware... but the AOL advertising network has been infiltrated by Winfixer and is randomly redirecting visitors to it's pages to rogue sites that will 'infect' the unwary with it's ransomware.

Sandi Hardmeier has documented what's happening and has contacted AOL to let them know what's going on, but so far nothing has been done and visitors to AOL pages are still very much at risk.

As Sandi says... what will it take to get AOL to sit up and take notice and do something about this.

You can check out Sandi's blog for more information and if PCA would like to get hold of her for an interview or something then I can put you in touch with her.

click here
click here
click here

This is the latest blog entry click here

  Forum Editor 23:57 26 Mar 2007

I'm actually looking into this on behalf of a group of clients at the moment, and depending on the outcome may write it up shortly.

  Nellie2 00:04 27 Mar 2007

You are welcome, sometimes we have to shout a little louder to get something done!!

  Forum Editor 00:06 27 Mar 2007

is worth some pretty loud shouting. Winfixer is a loathsome concept as far as I'm concerned.

  NICK ADSL UK 00:35 27 Mar 2007

Thanks Nell

  SB23 12:31 27 Mar 2007

My sister has been infected with Winantivirus, and I posted about it the other day.
Am I correct in assuming that these are the same type of thing, because I did a search using Aol search engine last night and was straight away confronted with a big page of Winantivirus, saying that my security was lacking. I also had this happen the latter part of last year.
What makes it worse is that it was my idea for my sister to move to Aol, because I had never had much to moan about, as they have served me well.


  Nellie2 12:55 27 Mar 2007

Yes you are right, they are the same type of thing. A simple way to protect yourself from this type of threat is to use a hosts file.
Windows will check the hosts file before it loads a page, if the domain is listed on the hosts file then then windows will follow the information in there.
In other words, you can use a hosts file to direct your browser away from or block known bad sites. Of course, malware is for ever changing so you do need to keep your hosts file up to date.

This is a good one and it's updated about once a month click here

Update on the AOL thing, Sandi has heard from AOL now, but I've no new information as yet.

  Kate B 13:07 27 Mar 2007

Nellie, I'm doing a piece on badware for Thursday's Technology Guardian even as we speak - I'll stick a line about this into it too.

Have a look at this click here and this click here

  georgemac © 13:18 27 Mar 2007

I have used that hosts file for a couple of years now - I still put the file into the correct folder manually and use a batch file to "lock" the hosts file so it cannot be changed by any application - would you say this is a good way to run the hosts file?

Does the automatic batch file from the website also lock the hosts file?


  Nellie2 13:20 27 Mar 2007

It's scary isn't it? AOL's problem isn't really a site hack problem though, it's the advertising affiliates, a rogue one got in there somehow and that is what's causing all the trouble.

I'm sure Sandi will be only too happy to talk to you if you wish.

  Nellie2 13:26 27 Mar 2007

There is a separate file available to lock the hosts file click here

Locking it isn't infallible, but it can't hurt!

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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