14 Oct 2017

Porn-site users lured by ad scam

9:19 pm on 14 October 2017

Visitors to some porn websites may have been duped into downloading malicious software, the government's cyber security watchdog is warning.

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CERT NZ said visitors to some porn websites may have been duped into downloading malicious software. Photo: 123RF

CERT NZ - the Computer Emergency Response Team - has issued an alert that some adult website users over the past year have been directed to download software, which claimed to give them access to videos and other content.

The software was actually advertising fraud malware known as Kovter, which was used to generate money by getting people to click on fake adverts.

CERT NZ said the reports to date indicated only Microsoft Windows users were affected.

The website operators have now fixed the problem and current users will not be affected.

However, those who had already downloaded the programme should consult a professional, the agency said.

"In some instances, running an antivirus scan will on your system will flag the problem programme, and users should remove any programs that are flagged as of concern.

"The Kovter malware has been reported as difficult to remove, and in some instances it's not detected by antivirus programmes.

"For users that remember installing the programme and haven't had it show up in an antivirus scan, CERT NZ recommends that they see an IT specialist to check whether there is malware on the device."

People affected by the scam or requiring further help can submit a report on CERT NZ's website or phone 0800 CERT NZ.

How to avoid infection with malware:

  • Always be careful when downloading software from the internet, ensure you only download from known, reputable websites
  • Consider using ad blockers in your web browser
  • Consider disabling JavaScript in your web browser (note that this may degrade some website function).

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