Hijacking Alert: Clipboards Populated With Malicious URLs

Flash ads are suspected to have spread malicious URLs into clipboards on Mac and Windows systems.

Several sources are speculating that web ads are infecting Mac and Windows system's clipboards with malicious URLs or website addresses. This hijacking attack is a different path taken by hackers to spread bogus security software onto computer users so that they may end up purchasing the malicious programs.

We are well aware of the recent Flash based attacks through malspam messages lately. Now it seems clipboards are being hijacked by flash ads used to port several malicious URLs into your clipboard in hopes that computer users visit those sites.

More Infected Flash Files?

Flash files are a new easy target for spammers and hackers to use because certain instructions can be imbedded within a flash file for good or even evil intent. Obviously in this new clipboard attack, flash ads may have been used for evil intent by utilizing the "setClipboard" Flash command. You should beware that flash files or flash ads can contain many embedded functions that hackers can use against you with very little effort. This may be why we are seeing a new wave of malicious infections being ported by hacked flash files lately.

After taking a closer look into recent reports it is apparent that computer user's clipboards are filled with multiple strange URLs. So how would this directly affect a computer user or spread malicious files or software? It is because computers users utilize the paste function many times. Do you ever find yourself pasting text into a word document or pasting a web address into your browser? Yes, it is that easy. If your clipboard is filled with malicious URLs and you happen to paste the contents into your web browser then the hackers who have creating this scheme are a step closer to succeeding.

What are computer users experiencing?

Many reports have come from computer users on several support forums including those of Apple computer's support forum. From the many complaints it looks as if the malicious clipboard contents cannot be removed in some cases. Whenever an infected computer user uses the paste function it always pastes a suspicious URL.

Surprisingly many computer users have reported this happening only after visiting a reputable website such as MSNBC's cable news channel. That makes us believe that this infection must come from a flash ad. Once again, flash ads or flash files are usually ways that hackers can infect large "trusted" websites without anyone knowing about it or actively detecting an issue.

We believe that in the near future we will start to see a log more of these types of infections to be spread utilizing flash files or flash ads. It may be a good idea to limit clicking on advertisements especially if they look suspicious and are flash based. Staying abreast on the latest threats is always a good idea to assist in avoiding infection from the newest issue that is causing issues over the internet.

Have you ever pasted contents from your clipboard that you did not copy? Is your clipboard filled with suspicious URLs?