Hackers tracked by anti-virus maker Avast! have infected the systems of about five million users who visited websites they believed to be secure.
“The danger is in the familiar, everyday trusted places on the internet which are as much a part of a daily routine like your morning coffee,” said Jiri Sejtko, Avast! senior virus analyst.
“People send us complaints about false-positive detections and even disable their [anti-virus] protection in order to reach their desired location – then they wish they hadn’t.”
The three kinds of malware that avast! believes to be part of the “trust phenomenon” included the Ill family, Kroxxu and JS:Prontexi.
All are technologically different but they are highly effective in snaring unwitting users.
“Bad guys move in cycles, creating new variants with the knowledge gained from previous generations,” Sejtko added.
“When you get an alert from your antivirus program, don’t ignore it.”