Fake Flash Player extensions foists spam

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Fake Flash Player extensions foists spam

Serves racy ads.

Security researchers are warning of a fake Adobe Flash Player update extension whose goal is to serve spam ads to victims.

The malicious plug-in, dubbed FlashPlayer11.safariextz, is being distributed from mostly adult websites, according to Jerome Segura of security firm Malwarebytes.

Unsuspecting users were told they need to install the Flash update to view a video in a fashion typical of many malicious extension scams.

The threat was "widespread," according to a spokeswoman for the company monitoring the outbreak.

Once the bogus software was installed, it displayed racy ads.

"For example, I visited PBSKids.org, a site for children to play games and watch their favourite characters, when all of a sudden a pornographic advertisement was displayed," Segura said in a blog.

It's not just lewd ads being served, either. The malware – which does not affect Internet Explorer, but was spotted in Chrome, Safari and Firefox – also is capable of superimposing spam ads over legitimate ones.

"Online advertising is a billion-dollar industry, and everybody wants to have a piece of it," Segura said.

"With such invasive adverts, cyber crooks are likely to generate a lot of views and even pay-per-clicks. If you believe you are seeing strange or inappropriate ads on the websites you regularly visit, it wouldn't hurt checking the extensions installed in your browser and removing the offending ones."

This article originally appeared at scmagazineus.com

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