Wednesday, October 7, 2009

If it happens, I'm sorry.

One of the blogs to the right that I read, Citizen Azeroth, popped up in my virus detection software yesterday. It seems there was an attempt to use that blog to distribute a computer virus. This has happened with the Citizen Azeroth site before. I did some searching and discovered this comment from Robert Ambrogi's LawSites. It's dated 2005 so this is an ongoing problem.

Blogger users can host their blogs whereever they like, but if they choose Blogger's free BlogSpot hosting, a navigation bar appears across the top of the page. On that nav bar is a button labeled "next blog." Click it, and you are taken to a randomly selected Blogger blog. Now comes word from lawyer Alvin Borromeo, writing on MT Law Blog and then again here, that randomly clicking the "next blog" button can leave you infected with viruses and spyware. The same thing happened to the author of the blog Obiter Dicta.

There are two ways to avoid this. First, as comments pointed out here and here, this would not have happened had they been using Firefox instead of Internet Explorer. Second, the problem is not with Blogger, but with coding added to some of the blogs hosted by Blogger. If you use Blogger and want to avoid sending your visitors to some random, virus-infected site, stop hosting on blogspot and instead host on another server. You can find Web site hosting deals for a couple dollars a month.

I like Blogspot because it's easy to use. I think any site has the potential to be infected and Blogspot, with its millions of users, is no different. Hackers would go after Citizen Azeroth because it's a popular blog visited by a lot of people who play World of Warcraft. My lil' ol' blog here has a very exclusive readership and isn't likely to be the target of some hacker looking to infect your computer.


For your own good, make sure your anti-virus software is up-to-date and use Firefox if possible. those readers using Apple computers are relatively safe for the moment.

I do apologize if you try to come here and your screen screams that my blog is unsafe at any speed. Just be aware that I really don't want your credit card or bank account information. Pictures of your gardens, your pets, your kids or grandkids, your vacation to Rock Creek, Kansas are welcome, however.

Beverage: Blackberry tea


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