Banner Ads Get Nasty

Legit sites hijacked by malware that can hack into PCs, even without a click
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2007 12:47 PM CST
Anti-Virus software sold as computers are attacked.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Some banner ads on legit sites can hack into your PC—even if you don't click on them. The new ads, which have been seen on sites like the Economist's and, try to scan your hard drive and download malicious software, Wired reports. DoubleClick, which hosts the ads through its DART progam, says it is working on shutting them down.

The malware is not detectable when publishers upload it because it looks like ordinary Flash files, Wired explains. The culprit appears to be a marketing company called AdTraff, a slightly sketchy outfit with links to an even sketchier service provider called the Russian Business Network, which Wired reports is well known for internet scams.