The Mail and Guardian website was recently compromised by hackers. The site was affected from January 21 until Monday January 24.
Anyone who visited the site during this time may have been exposed to a virus. Computers running Microsoft Windows XP, Vista or 7 are at risk, while Mac and Linux are not.
The virus announces itself, unlike many other viruses, and masquerades as an antivirus program called System Tool. The System Tool pops up and pretends to scan the computer for viruses. The classification of the virus is scareware, which tricks users into buying antivirus software and giving up credit card details.
“The M&G's site has, in the last few months, become a target for hackers. We are working hard to block all possible attacks, but unfortunately these particular hackers found an obscure loophole and exploited it for their nefarious purposes,” said the M&G site.
M&G offers ways to remove the scareware with free cleaning software links on its site. As long as a user did not fall for the scam or if they did download the cleaning software, M&G assures there is no need to fear permanent damage or impairment to the computer’s security.