On Monday, Google's Chrome web browser was warning people using popular web sites such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and Huffington Post that those sites were afflicted with lurking malware. The sites all used online advertising service NetSeer, which had been hacked.
In a statement, NetSeer CEO John Mracek admitted that the company's third-party hosted web site had been hacked and infected with malware, but that the company's advertising infrastructure was unaffected by the attack. Both services use the netseer.com domain and it was that domain which was added to Google's Safe Browsing lists. This meant in turn that NetSeer's own site and the sites of companies which used its advertising network were added. This in turn makes browsers that use the list raise the alarm.
The malware infection was discovered at 5:30am, California time, on Monday morning and NetSeer immediately set about cleaning the infection out. Working with Google, the company also obtained an expedited review of its site and by 9:30am it had its domain removed from the Google malware lists. NetSeer says it is doing an analysis on the third party host to identify the cause of the problem.
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