There should be an image here!There used to be the belief that if one stays away from “bad” Web sites, then malware is not a problem. That is not true, as a recent example with the New York Times illustrated. The popular news Web site was compromised, and the trusted site was serving up malicious ads:

The malicious ad took over the browsers of many people visiting the site, as their screens filled with an image that seemed to show a scan for computer viruses. The visitors were then told that they needed to buy antivirus software to fix a problem, but the software was more snake oil than a useful program.

Exploiting weaknesses in online ad systems is an increasingly common approach for computer criminals around the globe who hope to make a quick buck from the audiences of the sites they attack. Experts say the problem is likely to get worse as companies scramble to satiate a click-happy online culture.”

This is just one way in which criminals / hackers are becoming exceedingly creative in exploiting site visitors. No reputable software company would market products in this manner, but the criminals are relying on the trust that people have in the site.

There have been malware installations without the site visitors having to do anything. These are the so called ‘drive-by’ downloads, and just visiting the site puts one at risk. No click — or download — is necessary.

It is absolutely essential to be running an anti-virus and anti-spyware program. One of our recommendations is VIPRE from Sunbelt Software. It is effective without draining your computer of resources. VIPRE’s memory footprint is very small, and this has brought a lot of memory back to otherwise bogged-down machines.

Sunbelt Software is offering our readers a 20% saving on VIPRE. This offer is good until November 18, 2009.

VIPRE works with “Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista+ (All flavors) 32 and 64-bit, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP SP1, SP2, SP3 (Home, Pro, Media Center, Tablet) 32 and 64-bit and Windows 2000 SP4 RollUp 1.” And yes, it works with Windows 7, too.

The Sunbelt people are making a generous offer to protect all the computers in your home. It is a “home site license” which allows using the program on more than one computer. There is a discount for this “home site license,” and it’s just a huge saving for our readers.

We have worked with the people at Sunbelt for years. They work diligently to keep up with what is happening with computer security. It is a ‘cat-and-mouse’ game where criminals are trying to exploit people in creative and innovative ways. The people at Sunbelt keep up with what is happening and this is reflected in their security product. Many Gnomies use this program… and we recommend it.