Harmful Websites

It seems Possibility Media’s websites have been hacked. There are a few interesting things to learn here. First have a look at the following screenshot:

Possibility Media
At the time of writing (28 Oct 2007) if you go to Google’s website and search for the term “possibility media” you’ll get the results shown above. Google found the correct website and if you look closely there’s a warning that “This site may harm your computer“. If you don’t notice this small writing and just click on the link Google will display a large warning spelling out the risks. This is a very nice security feature provided by Google. They use a 3rd party tool to analyse websites for malware and make it difficult for you to load a website that contains harmful code.

The other thing to note is that Possibility Media’s websites have been hacked and contain harmful code. It’s still unclear what damage this can do to your computer (it’s currently being investigated by antivirus companies). Some of their other websites that have also been hacked are:

  • webweekmag.com – Web Week Magazine
  • itweekmagazine.com – IT Week Magazine
  • technologyweekmag.com – Technology Week Magazine
  • theinternetstandardmag.com – The Internet Standard
  • securitystandardmag.com – Security Standard

Hopefully by the time you read this it would have been cleared up. The purpose of mentioning these websites is to point out that common websites that have completely legitimate businesses behind them are still vulnerable to malicious tampering and that it can affect pretty much everybody.

There are a couple of things you can do about this:

  • Use a good antivirus program on your computer. To be effective against this type of attack it needs to do something called “web filtering”.
  • Keep your antivirus software updated. This usually requires a paid (yearly) subscription.
  • Use an alternative web browser. I haven’t written about this yet but consider using either FireFox or Opera.

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