Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Lured to Wrong Address

I had a call from a customer yesterday to say that they were trying to look at content on the www.myhome.ie website and they were getting repeated messages that their system had critical errors. In fact they were getting so many pop-up windows with this message that their machine ground to a halt and they had to reboot. Sounded like spyware to me and and I happened to know that this particular machine had no antispyware installed as it was an oldish PC running Windows Me.

When I got around to the customer's house I found that the problem was reproducible when the bookmarked www.myhome.ie website was visited (see screenshot) but not when I visited any other website?!? If a PC is infected with spyware it normally doesn't care what website you are visiting - as soon as you go online the pop-ups begin. This was different and had me scratching my head for a couple of minutes. Then I saw it! The bookmarked website was not www.myhome.ie but www.myhomes.ie - note the extra "s" at the end. I suspect that this site is designed to lure people in who are looking for www.myhome.ie and then barrage them with pop-up advertising for dubious products. A pop-up blocker, as found in Windows XP, or some home security products would keep the pop-ups at bay, but not for an unprotected Windows Me machine. Just be careful when typing those web addresses.

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