Reading Can Be Hazardous

malware.jpgHere’s one reason to read the print version of The New York Times instead of reading the paper online.

Over the weekend, All Things Digital’s Peter Kafka stumbled upon an embarrassing note from the Times to its readers.

Turns out, some readers of the Times‘s Web site have been exposed to malware. Explained the Times:

Some readers have seen a pop-up box warning them about a virus and directing them to a site that claims to offer antivirus software. We believe this was generated by an unauthorized advertisement and are working to prevent the problem from recurring. If you see such a warning, we suggest that you not click on it. Instead, quit and restart your Web browser. Questions and comments can be sent to

Although experienced Web surfers are no strangers to virus threats, Web sites of large corporations like the Times are usually pretty safe. As Kafka explained, “You generally have to travel farther down the Internet publishing food chain to find these kind of bogus ads — go hunting for porn and/or illegal downloads, for instance, and you’ll find plenty of this stuff.”

But the Web advertising world is still pretty sketchy, and companies like the Times are still vulnerable to these kinds of attacks, Kafka said:

“Sometimes it’s the fault of ad networks the publishers use to move their unsold inventory; sometimes the bogus ads are bought directly from the publishers themselves.”

We’re sure the Times didn’t want to acknowledge the problem, but it was important for them to do so. No one can say they don’t care about their readers’ computer health. Hopefully, they’ll find the malware culprit, banish it from their site forever and work harder in the future to avoid any more embarrassing virus attacks.

Home Delivery: The New York Times Serves Up Some Malware — All Things Digital