Posted by: patdavila | December 7, 2009

Fooling windoze users into thinking their machines are infected

Over the weekend my wife and I were discussing what to get the kids for Christmas. My 6 year old mentioned Zhu Zhu Pets. They’re these little mechanical hamsters that’s all the rage with the kids. I remembered reading an article where a consumer watchdog group recommended a recall of the product because of high levels of dangerous chemicals. I couldn’t remember where the original article was posted so I searched for it in Google and got a ton of links. I clicked on one link and was re-directed to a web site. The browser went full screen with what appeared to be a winxp desktop in the browser window. An “application window” in the browser started running a virus scanner. Of course it found a bunch of viruses running on my “windows” machine. What’s really evil is that this website ran javascript on my Firefox browser that made it the default home page and would open the browser in full screen mode. It would not let you even close the window. Now I’m an experienced Linux user. I simply ran top from the commandline and killed the browser. Imagine what something like this does to a noobie computer user running WinXP. They get scared and pay the $30 to “fix” their computer. Pretty malicious stuff.


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