New malware spreads via Flash ads, hijacks clipboard

Posted on Wednesday, Aug 20 2008 @ 23:28 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
ZD Net reports malicious hackers have found a cross-platform way to spread rogue security software via Flash banner advertisements on legitimate websites. The infected ads place a link to a site that installs a fake anti-virus program in your clipboard and once your clipboard is hijacked it's impossible to copy anything else over it until you reboot your system. So once this link has been loaded into your clipboard and you try to copy & paste a link into your browser a rogue antivirus program will be installed on your system.

An example of a rogue security application is Antivirus XP 2008, this piece of malware finds thousands of non-existing threats on your system which it promises to delete once you've payed them some money. One of my friends was recently hit by this program but fortunately the free version of Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware took care of this problem.
This has happened to me twice now, on two separate computers at work. My clipboard has been hijacked with this:

[ malicious URL deleted ]

And once it’s in the clipboard, I can’t copy anything else over it until I’ve restarted the machine.

I’m only going to websites that are directly linked off the main page of, so they’re not obscure, and I’m surfing in firefox, though the system wide clipboard is getting taken over, so I can’t even copy something over that from a program like TextEdit.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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