Click on any of Yahoo’s ads over the past few days? You may be at risk, as Yahoo’s servers were hit in malware attack according to reports published Sunday. Those that have clicked on ads risk having their computers infected by malware.
Fox IT – an Internet security firm that discovered the alleged malware attack – says that 300,000 users were visiting the infected ads each hour. That means approximately 27,000 computers and devices were infected every hour since typically 9% of computers are actually infected after visiting the site. Most computer users usually have software that combats such infections or have managed to configure their computers against these attacks.
Malware, shore for malicious software, is software used to disrupt and tamper with computer operation, gain access to private computer systems and files, and gather sensitive information. Computers connected to a network can spread the malware onto many other computers without knowing. The malware may have started spreading as early as Dec. 30.
This is just one of the latest technical problems to hit the struggling Yahoo as it attempts to become more relevant to online services. The company’s e-mail service experienced widespread problems and outages near the end of December.
Consumers should know that this Yahoo malware attack works by redirecting clicks to ads on Yahoo to an infected site, which then uses security holes in Oracle’s Java to install malware per USA Today. Java is commonly used “plug in” designed to add additional capability to Internet browsers.
The infected site proceeds to then install a variety of malware to the user’s device including those called Dorkbot, Tinba, Astromeda, ZeuS, or Necurs, Fox IT says. Most of the users that have been affected reside in France, Romania, and Great Britain.
IN a statement, Yahoo said it is aware of the security issues. The infection rate has declined significantly, indicating that Yahoo is making adjustments to fix the problem, Fox IT says.