RealNews

Adware ploy dupes IMers with bin Laden 'news'

update Beware of instant messages bearing news of Osama bin Laden’s capture. Several victims told CNET News.com on Wednesday that a new Trojan horse advertising program, called BuddyLinks, masquerades as a news Web site with a story on the al-Qaida leader’s capture in an attempt to fool users of America Online’s instant-messaging program into downloading software and receiving advertising. Although the software has some of the properties of an Internet worm, the program has been classified by security software company Symantec as a lesser form of an irritant known as adware. BuddyLinks doesn’t qualify as malicious, because it doesn’t delete anything and can be easily uninstalled, said Steve Trilling, senior director of research for Symantec. “In many cases, the difference between malware (malicious software such as viruses and worms) and software is how aware you are of what the program is doing,” Trilling said. Many security products–including several from Symantec–will block programs that have been deemed to be adware or spyware, depending on the user’s settings. Full Story

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