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Originally published November 30, 2009 at 10:51 PM | Page modified February 25, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Note to readers about malware

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You may have heard reports about malware on seattletimes.com. Malware is an industry-wide term that refers to a variety of software that can cause problems on your computer. Some visitors to seattletimes.com have reported receiving malware messages and alerts. To the best of our knowledge these attacks are not related to the content on our Web site, but rather are coming from unscrupulous advertisers who target news and information sites through a complex web of ad networks.

This is not a problem that is unique to our site; this issue has affected many major newspapers and Web sites in the past six months. We are working diligently with our advertising partners and experts in our industry to learn as much about this situation as we can, and to ensure that we provide the best--and safest--possible experience for our users.

Malware can be delivered to your computer through covert Internet portals; these can include but are not limited to: game demos, MP3 players, search toolbars, software, free subscriptions and other things you encounter on the Web.

Cyber criminals behind the Live PC Care phony anti-virus scam have begun offering live support to add a layer of credibility to their operation. The phony antivirus software screen now has an online support button that allows users to chat with an agent who will do his or her best to convince the user to pay money to solve the purported security problems. Symantec researchers say that their interactions with the support staff suggest that there are real people manning the chats.

Read more at InformationWeek

If you believe you have encountered malware while visiting seattletimes.com, we strongly encourage you to scan your computer for malware using a reliable anti-virus scanning tool, several of which are free.

Readers who have encountered this have shared that McAfee recently released an update; it identifies a Trojan having been reported with this malware. We have also heard malwarebytes.com has been successful in identifying and removing this malware.

You may also want to visit one of the following Web sites for further information:

http://www.onguardonline.gov/default.aspx

http://blogs.zdnet.com/security/?p=4297

A secure, high-quality user experience on our network of sites is of great importance to The Seattle Times Company. Please know that we have strict standards, as well as security and testing procedures for advertisements that appear on our Web sites. We are continuing to analyze this incident and implement changes based on what we have learned. We encourage anyone who has experienced malware while visiting seattletimes.com to contact us at webmaster@seattletimes.com with as many details as possible.

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