Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Check for Malware if You're Seeing Ads on Wikipedia

Wikipedia LogoAre you seeing ads on Wikipedia?

Did Wikipedia cross over to the dark-side and insert those obnoxious, flashy advertisements into their site pages to generate revenue?!

No, no. It’s nothing like that.

On Monday, Wikipedia took to their blog to warn users that if you’re seeing advertisements for a for-profit industry on their website, then it’s likely that your computer has been hit with malware.

Inkfruit Ads on Wikipedia
Screenshot Credit: Wikipedia

The culprit is likely to be a malicious browser extension that managed to sneak its way onto your system (you didn’t fall for a Facebook scam recently, did you?), and Wikipedia advised that a Chrome browser extension named “I want this” has been found to inject ads on sites the user visits.

That's only one example, though. There are likely ad-injecting browser extensions  for every popular web browser, regardless if it’s Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome.

So what should you do if you’re seeing ads on Wikipedia – or any other site that’s not known to carry ads?

  • Check your browser for suspicious plug-ins.

    • Chrome -> Click the Tool icon on the top right -> Hover over ‘Tools’ -> Click ‘Extensions’

    • Firefox -> Click the orange ‘Firefox’ tab -> Select ‘Add-ons’  -> Check under ‘Extensions’ and ‘Plugins’

    • Internet Explorer -> Click ‘Tools’ in the top menu -> Select ‘Manage Add-ons’

  • Scan your system with an anti-malware program like Malwarebytes or Ad-aware.

  • Do a full system scan using whatever antivirus software is installed.

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