SPARKTRUST (invitation to infect with malware)

cookee_nz, Feb 24, 10:13pm
From a thread last year. "Laptop running slow" (

It's an old thread but I was REALLY pixxed off this morning to see this particular piece of scumware being promoted on our own (a TM site) - of course TM/Stuff will disavow any knowledge etc by saying they (google adverts) are third-party content but I'm willing to bet a good number of average Kiwis would actually trust a site like stuff. and also trust that if an advert is carried on their site then an endorsement is implied. Thoughts? -

cookee_nz, Feb 24, 10:42pm
** Remove the hyphen in 'aspx' to follow the link :-)

gibler, Feb 24, 10:43pm
I see no ads.

zak410, Feb 24, 11:12pm
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lostdude, Feb 24, 11:24pm
And the hyphen in 'community'. Tis why url shorteners are best.

cookee_nz, Feb 24, 11:29pm
That's why I did a screenshot - look at the link at the end

chnman, Feb 25, 12:27am
I use Adblock Plus in Firefox so never see ads.

king1, Feb 25, 4:05am
the positioning of that advert makes me think the advert is being injected into the webpage by a rogue addon/extension in your browser.

Scan with Adwcleaner

waipawa, Feb 25, 4:18am
I have just looked at that page with adblock paused and there is no ad in that location on the page for me, so I think king1 is right and you have malware pretending to be ads from google.

oclaf, Feb 25, 4:29am
i agree with King1. I thought it looked suspicious, so checked out that same article with my ad blocker off ( Stuffs ad layout is different to your image, there appears to be no ad box there at all. And I don't think I've seen an adsense ad that looks like that.
Don't hassle Stuff, check your computer, the problems at your end.

cookee_nz, Feb 25, 8:19am
Well you learn something everyday - it's not my home PC but one I regularly use and by habit I do a malware scan with monotonous regularity - (obsessively some might say) but I'll revisit that, might have been 3-4 weeks since I last checked. The fact that others are not seeing it gave me a good pointer, although I would disregard anyone with an ad-blocker (not against the person) but because the average home user would probably not have one installed anyway. Thanks for the responses. Never too old eh?

lythande1, Feb 25, 6:10pm
I wouldn't know - I aways use adblock software.

cookee_nz, Jul 4, 9:20pm
When I posted this original message I had also contacted stuff to voice my concerns. Having now scanned the PC I was using and finding it clean of any malware and adware I was a little puzzled - until this response came back from stuff early this afternoon.

"Thank you for your detailed email.
Google Adwords are served dynamically by Google with little intervention from us other than to exclude broad categories of advertising.
With the computer program category, major brands such as Norton and ESET would also place their advertising through the same channel.
Now that you've alerted us to this particular ad and the risk of our users being misled, we have blocked the SparkTrust AdWords account and any future advertising they could place through Stuff.
Thank you for highlighting this.
You shouldn't spot any future instances but if you do, please do let me know."

So there you have it, confirmation of the advertising. Norton & Eset I could live with, Norton hasn't been what it once was for a very long time but at least it's not (intentionally) malicious.

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