Crown agency Cert NZ warns about Kovter malware being distributed on adult websites

Cert NZ says some visitors to adult websites have been asked to download browser or video player updates that contain malware.

The government's recently formed Computer Emergency Response Team (Cert NZ) has issued an alert about malicious software being distributed via X-rated websites.

Cert understands that some visitors to adult websites over the past year have been directed to download software, which claimed to give them access to videos and content. This software is actually advertising fraud malware, known as Kovter. This malicious software is traditionally used in online advertising fraud to generate money by getting people to click on fake adverts.

At this point, reports only indicate Microsoft Windows users are affected. The website operators have resolved the issue so current users will not be affected.

Cert's prevention advice

  • Always be careful when downloading software from the internet, ensure you only download from known, reputable websites
  • Consider using ad blockers in your web browser.
  • Consider disabling JavaScript in your web browser. Note that this may degrade some website functionality.

If you have been hit

  • If you think you’ve been affected by this campaign and have downloaded the malware, Cert recommends: 
  • In some instances, running an antivirus scan will on your system will flag the problem program, and users should remove any programs that are flagged as of concern
  • The Kovter malware has been reported as difficult to remove, and in some instances it’s not detected by antivirus programs. For users that remember installing the program and haven’t had it show up in an antivirus scan, Cert NZ recommends that they see an IT specialist to check whether there is malware on the device. 
  • For more advice, phone 0800 CERT NZ or visit Cert's website.

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