Author Topic: Can one be exposed to a trojan by clicking on a banner ad here?  (Read 877 times)

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snappylt

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Is it possible to be exposed to a trojan virus by clicking on a banner ad at the top of an E-Hell forum page?

BACKGROUND:  This afternoon I was reading some old messages here on E-Hell.  I was not logged in at the time.  (I have gotten lazy and sometimes only log in if I am wanting to post.  I think there would be a record of someone visiting from my IP address this afternoon, though, if moderators wanted to check on my story.)

There was a banner ad at the top of the page that I was curious about, so I clicked on it.  (I will put a PS at the end of this post and say the name of the banner ad, but it is sort of embarrassing, so I'll skip over it for now.)

Within a half second of clicking on the banner ad, my whole browser disappeared from my monitor and a new small window appeared from my anti-virus software, announcing that I had been infected with a trojan ("W3i.IQ5.fraud") but that the trojan had been quarantined and that I did not need to take any action.

At that point I was unable to re-start the browser I had been using (the Opera browser) because the Opera.exe file had disappeared from its folder.  (I assume that my anti-virus software deleted it?)

It would take several paragraphs to say what I did for the next couple of hours with my anti-virus software and with Spy-bot, but I did seem to clear the "W3i.IQ5.fraud" trojan from my computer after running Spy-bot twice, and everything seems fine now.
END BACKGROUND

So, my questions are:
1.) Is it possible my computer was infected by clicking on the banner ad here?  Or is that highly unlikely (which would mean the timing of the attack was a coincidence, I guess).

2.)If it is possible that I was infected here, is there something I should do to alert the moderators (besides posting this question here)?


PS
Have you heard of a silly advertisement on YouTube for a company called Dollar Shave Club?  Well, their ad is kind of silly, and I watched it when it came out a while back.  Then they came out with an "in-poor-taste" ad for a bathroom product that I saw on YouTube, also.  (I'd like to think I have better taste than that most of the time!)

This afternoon, at the top of the E-Hell forum page I was reading, I saw a banner ad for Dollar Diaper Club.  Well, it has been at least a dozen years since we've needed to buy diapers at our house, but I thought that particular banner ad would take me to another silly video ad from the same company that does Dollar Shave Club.  It never entered my mind that clicking on it could lead to two hours of work to disinfect my computer, if, indeed the virus came from clicking on the banner ad!

Ehelldame

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Re: Can one be exposed to a trojan by clicking on a banner ad here?
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2013, 10:46:35 AM »


So, my questions are:
1.) Is it possible my computer was infected by clicking on the banner ad here?  Or is that highly unlikely (which would mean the timing of the attack was a coincidence, I guess).

It is plausible that a Google Adsense ad contains a virus but the known incidents of that happening are not common.   Google Adsense has its own crawler, separate from the Google search crawler, that routinely crawls the sites on which its ads are placed because Google has a vested interest in making sure nothing disrupts the flow of revenue to them.   Google aggressively filters out sneaky advertisers and bans them for life so doing something like spamming/embedding malware in ads is advertising kiss of death.   Of the few times this has happened, Google knows about it quickly and acts quickly. 

Since you clicked on the banner ad and it took you to a website, then you must know the URL that the ad landed you on.   Just report it here or in future, in a thread in the Glitches folder and it is quite easy for me to completely block that ad from ever appearing on the site again.   But I can't block diddly squat if there is no domain URL and Google can do nothing to help if I have no URL to give them.   



Outdoor Girl

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Re: Can one be exposed to a trojan by clicking on a banner ad here?
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2013, 11:11:57 AM »
Is there a way to get the URL without clicking on the ad?  (I am tech ignorant for the most part.)

I've been seeing one that says 'Your PC is running slow' which I'm quite sure has to lead to some sort of scam if not outright virus.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
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snappylt

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Re: Can one be exposed to a trojan by clicking on a banner ad here?
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2013, 11:16:25 AM »


So, my questions are:
1.) Is it possible my computer was infected by clicking on the banner ad here?  Or is that highly unlikely (which would mean the timing of the attack was a coincidence, I guess).

It is plausible that a Google Adsense ad contains a virus but the known incidents of that happening are not common.   Google Adsense has its own crawler, separate from the Google search crawler, that routinely crawls the sites on which its ads are placed because Google has a vested interest in making sure nothing disrupts the flow of revenue to them.   Google aggressively filters out sneaky advertisers and bans them for life so doing something like spamming/embedding malware in ads is advertising kiss of death.   Of the few times this has happened, Google knows about it quickly and acts quickly. 

Since you clicked on the banner ad and it took you to a website, then you must know the URL that the ad landed you on.   Just report it here or in future, in a thread in the Glitches folder and it is quite easy for me to completely block that ad from ever appearing on the site again.   But I can't block diddly squat if there is no domain URL and Google can do nothing to help if I have no URL to give them.   

(Bolding above is mine.)

Thank you so much for your reply.  I know that you and the moderators do not generate the ads, and I realize you need the ads to cover the expenses of operating the website.  (And I do appreciate the forums here!)

Actually, I do not know where the banner ad took me.  There is absolutely no way for me to know where it took me (without clicking on it again, if I ever see it again, and I don't want to do that!).  Within a half second of clicking on the ad, my Opera browser disappeared from my monitor.  My anti-virus program removed the Opera.exe file from my computer, and when I uninstalled Opera and re-installed it, my browsing history was gone.  So, it is impossible for me to know where clicking on the ad took me.

Would you or a moderator be able to report this issue to your ad provider based on the name of the company in the ad?  It was an ad for "Dollar Diaper Club".  Those words in big letters are all I remember about the ad.  I do not remember any pictures on the ad, just words.

Thank you.

MariaE

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Re: Can one be exposed to a trojan by clicking on a banner ad here?
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2013, 12:57:30 AM »
Is there a way to get the URL without clicking on the ad?  (I am tech ignorant for the most part.)

I've been seeing one that says 'Your PC is running slow' which I'm quite sure has to lead to some sort of scam if not outright virus.

Yup  :) At least in Windows on IE, FF, Safari and Chrome - I haven't used other browsers or Macs often enough to say.

Anyway, mouse-over the ad, right-click and choose "Copy link address" (or something similar. The wording is different in some browsers, but the meaning is the same). Open notepad or an email program or whatever and press ctrl-v. Voila, URL obtained. It's probably a really ugly one with heaps of redirects, but it should be sufficient for the EHDame to block it.
 
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Can one be exposed to a trojan by clicking on a banner ad here?
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2013, 10:37:22 AM »
Thanks, Maria.  If I see it again, I'll be sure to post it for the Dame to ban it.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
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