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Monday, May 2, 2011

State Links Malware Infection to Seattle Times Website

Posted by on Mon, May 2, 2011 at 12:14 PM

I've been known to get physically ill reading the Seattle Times. Now apparently my computer is at risk too.

From: DSHS CA Help300 (CA Help Desk)
Sent: Monday, May 02, 2011 9:17 AM
To: DSHS CA Help300 (CA Help Desk)
Subject: !!!Malware Issues This Morning!!!
Importance: High

This message has been sent to All CA Staff.

There have been a number of PCs reporting virus infections after visiting external websites, namely The Seattle Times. We are aware of the situation and working on remedies for those infected machines. In the meantime, please refrain from visiting ANY external websites, especially The Seattle Times, until further notice. If you have any questions, please contact the Service Desk. Thank you.

Nick Fuchs
Department of Social and Health Services
Operations and Systems Support Manager
Children's Administration Technology Services (CATS)

While we couldn't replicate the problem here at the all-Mac Stranger, Fuchs confirms multiple "malware" infections at the all-Windows Children's Administration, although he says the damage is easy to repair. The Seattle Times confirms that they experienced some sort of "problem" yesterday, but seemed surprised to hear that it was ongoing. I'm waiting on a call back from the appropriate department.

In the meanwhile, I suggest that as always, you avoid reading the Seattle Times, in print or online, especially the op/ed pages.


Comments (24) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
If my last name was Fuchs, I would change it.
Posted by genevieve on May 2, 2011 at 12:30 PM · Report this
I'll stick to just reading the dozens of daily links Slog uses to fill in the gaps in its own reporting, then. Thanks for thinking of us, Goldy.
Posted by gloomy gus on May 2, 2011 at 12:31 PM · Report this
Jaymz 3
Yes - I got two "virus alerts" yesterday when I visited The Seattle Times (caught by my AVG) but nothing this morning. (Admission - I read the comics there because that is the line up I am used to from the old dead tree days...)
Posted by Jaymz on May 2, 2011 at 12:32 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 4
This is why I turn off scripts when reading the Times.
Posted by Will in Seattle on May 2, 2011 at 12:41 PM · Report this
Kinison 5
Doesnt reproduce with those who have virus protection in combination with ad blockers running Chrome or Firefox. I wouldnt get infected on, no more than I would get infected off

Owning a Mac does not make you immune from anything. Malware requires you to click on something like an idiot to infect your computer, which if you dont have updated virus protection, will never know how infected your Mac really is.

Because Apple "used" to market their computers as generaly virus free, that alone made it more likely to be infected with a virus as users would just click on anything thinking the OS wouldnt be infected, when really, theres fewer viruses for the Mac simply because the Mac commands a far smaller market share. Its like being told White People cant get an STD, so why bother using a condom.

When it comes to hacking contests, Mac often is the first to fall, sometimes within seconds of the contest starting.
Posted by Kinison on May 2, 2011 at 12:42 PM · Report this
TVDinner 6
I'm pretty sure the Times gave me herpes. Or schizophrenia.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on May 2, 2011 at 1:01 PM · Report this
This is real.

The virus is called "Win 7 Total Security". I had the joy of cleaning it off my Windows 7 box yesterday AND today, it most certainly came from Here is a link to help you kill it:…

You will want to run windows update as well when you are done to get all the latest security patched from them.

Also if you use Firefox, inspect your add on plugins, and disable any that look not generic or not right, I suspect this is how it gets in. Also check the box for tools-options-security - "warn me when sites try to install plugins"
Posted by Jeffrey on May 2, 2011 at 1:04 PM · Report this
Well, That explains that. While at work last night, I was reading politics and movie reviews, and suddenly my comp started warning me of a potential virus infection... and then shut me out of the network.

Damn. I assume IT was able to figure it out after I called them and finished my shift.
Posted by Phelix on May 2, 2011 at 1:10 PM · Report this
Karlheinz Arschbomber 9
Nice try @5. Please tell me where my Mac viruses are hiding.
or the Linux ones.

Windows is a pathetic, flaming piece of shit, still needs bubblegum and baling wire, virus scans, etc. Jesus Fucking Christ.
Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber on May 2, 2011 at 1:24 PM · Report this
GlamB0t 10
@5 & @9 i think this is more of a numbers game when it comes to security with Windows vs. Mac. Roughly 90% of the computers in the world run a Windows OS. A programmer seeking to reek havoc knows it's more efficient to make a virus that will effect the most people. Most programmers are kinda lazy (SEE: Sony PSN, recent WP hack, ass size in the IT dept, etc, etc).
Posted by GlamB0t on May 2, 2011 at 1:29 PM · Report this
notaboomer 11
ass size in the IT dept. hooray!
Posted by notaboomer on May 2, 2011 at 1:55 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 12
@10 actually, most computers run assembler. It's fun hacking those.

The rest run Linux/BSD and of the remainder, you're confusing MARKET SHARE (COST times UNITS) with QUANTITY (UNITS). Free and nearly free OS have very low market share because they're ... wait for it ... FREE or nearly free (and thus have a low COST times UNIT weighting).
Posted by Will in Seattle on May 2, 2011 at 2:10 PM · Report this
MarkyMark 13
Luckily I always read it on my Mac. Which has no anti-virus software. Because there are no Mac viruses in the wild that can install themselves without your authorization.
Posted by MarkyMark on May 2, 2011 at 2:53 PM · Report this
Geni 14
Don't use IE. Use a browser that has decent adblocking capabilities. There. Fixed that for ya. That'll be $95.
Posted by Geni on May 2, 2011 at 3:37 PM · Report this
Fnarf 15
@12, so you're saying that most computers run something called "assembler", huh? While others run "Linux/BSD", which is not assembler? Thanks for confirming once again that you have zero idea what you're talking about.

Hint: all computers run machine level code called an "assembly language" which is simply a representation of the lowest-level "machine language". All of them, including Windows, Macs, and unix/Linux machines. Every processor has its own assembly language, which can be written by hand using an "assembler" (note "an" assembler, not "assembler"), but is virtually always written in a higher-level language and compiled into the relevant machine code.

Will here is attempting to use some jargon that he's picked up but doesn't understand what it means or how to use it, so he comes out with statements like this that sound like tech talk but are in fact gibberish.
Posted by Fnarf on May 2, 2011 at 4:03 PM · Report this
Fnarf 16
@14, that solves some but not all the problems. The biggest problem is BKAC -- "between keyboard and chair". Almost all of these things nowadays throw popups at you that look like legitimate security warnings, and depend on the user to click on them to start the process going. So you see "1,872 infections found! click here to protect your computer!", and you do, and now you're screwed.

Best of all, most antivirus programs are useless against them. Most never even notice that they've happened. I no longer even run AV on my most-used PCs, because it's a waste of time. Proper malware removal tools -- I prefer Superantispyware -- are the only things that work.
Posted by Fnarf on May 2, 2011 at 4:07 PM · Report this
@5 ftw. Mac is generally the first to be compromised at these security conferences. It was exactly 3 seconds at the last CanSecWest conference.
They show up in security sites constantly with new vulnerabilities. The most recent one (from today) seems quite a bit like the one described here. And since Mac likes to make it easy to use your computer, if you have the option "Open safe files after downloading" on, it'll install the malware for you instantly!…
Mac users that operate without protection are a danger to anyone that uses a computer. Please do us all a favor and get a security suite installed on that dirty thing.
Posted by BadApple on May 2, 2011 at 4:41 PM · Report this
My AVG blocked the OP Ed by Dan Evans and Mike Lowry in the ST yesterday. I use Chrome as a browser on a windows machine. It said a known malware distributor was using the ST site. I assumed it was one of the rotating ads that appear on their site. It was blocked and I moved on. Read the OP Ed later.
Posted by ratcityreprobate on May 2, 2011 at 5:56 PM · Report this
Dudeilicous 19
I run a v6r1 iSeries - I think Windows might have a one-up here.
Posted by Dudeilicous on May 2, 2011 at 7:21 PM · Report this
Spicy McHaggis 20
So that's why my Norton Internet Security said it had fended off an attack when I had the Times site up on my computer.
Posted by Spicy McHaggis on May 2, 2011 at 8:04 PM · Report this
venomlash 21
@12: Confirmed for scriptkiddie.
@16: Word. BKAC is responsible for so evidenced here.
Posted by venomlash on May 2, 2011 at 8:39 PM · Report this
Steven Bradford 22
Why do you hate Krugman, Goldy?
Posted by Steven Bradford on May 2, 2011 at 9:38 PM · Report this
No one links to the Seattle Times, right Goldy?

Posted by Joe E. Tata on May 2, 2011 at 10:01 PM · Report this
I got this virus twice from the Husky football blog on the Times site before I finally pinned it on them. It is not all that easy to remove. I will try to link posted above, but this malware eventually destroys your registry.
Posted by stumblebee on May 3, 2011 at 11:21 AM · Report this

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