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Giant online security hole getting fixed, slowly

August 6th, 2008 . by TexasFred

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A giant vulnerability in the Internet’s design is allowing criminals to silently redirect traffic to Web sites under their control. The problem is being fixed, but its extent remains unknown and many people are still at risk.

The gaping security hole enables a scam that targets ordinary people typing in a legitimate Web address. It happens because hackers are now able to manipulate the machines that help computers find Web sites. If the trick is done properly, computer users are unlikely to detect whether they’ve landed at a legitimate site or an evil double maintained by someone bent on fraud.

Security experts fear an open season for virus attacks and identity-fraud scams.

“It’s kind of like saying, ‘There’s a bunch of money on the street. If you can get over there soon enough, you can get it,’” said Ken Silva, chief technology officer for VeriSign Inc., which manages the “.com” and “.net” directories of Internet addresses. “It’s something the industry is taking seriously. You’d be in a bad place if you weren’t doing something about it.”

The bug’s existence was revealed nearly a month ago. Since then, criminals have pulled off at least one successful attack, directing some AT&T Inc. (ATT) Internet customers in Texas to a fake Google site. The phony page was accompanied by three programs that automatically clicked on ads, with the profits for those clicks flowing back to the hackers.

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Giant online security hole getting fixed, slowly

I click on a lot of sites, it’s the nature of the beast. Having blog rolls can be a real pain in the tush, and when I click on a site that loads *funny* and really slow, or, more correctly, *wonky*, I won’t place it on any of my blog rolls.

The same goes for sites ON the blogrolls. I have pissed a few folks off by dumping them from the rolls, but in most cases it was simply because they had a *wonky* site that made me highly suspicious and I am NOT going to expose my computer, or those of my subscribers, to ANY threat that I feel may exist.

I have no use for people that hack computers, or set adware and malware, I have never had anything of that nature on my site and I never will. I run some pretty good security too. And NO, I won’t tell you what any of it is. That’s part of the *security* concept! :P

Any time a site redirects you, click out ASAP, any time a site takes a very long time to load, get away from it, there IS some sort of problem in the script. If you click on a site and it locks you TO that site and won’t release you when you hit the back button, make a note to yourself to never go back there again, it’s a spam site or is running some kind of malware.

Use the best personal security you can afford, keep it updated, DAILY, keep it turned ON at ALL time! I know someone that bought a Norton System, installed it, turned it on and that was it. Never registered it, never did the 1st update, never set it to update automatically, nothing. But they think they’re protected. They have a virus protection program. And even though many of us have advised her to get it all updated, it just sits there, out of date and totally useless.

No matter what browser you use, Internet Explorer, Fire Fox, or one of the other systems, keep it current, update it to the newest edition, there are warning systems built in and will throw up a warning for you if you hit a *phishing* site.

And the biggest *common sense* thing that anyone can do is never put ANYTHING on your computer that can compromise your personal information, bank numbers, SS numbers, things of that nature, because no matter how secure you try to be, or think you are, there’s always someone out there that is trying to steal your money and identity.

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