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Thursday, May 18, 2017

1813. Missing Font Scam

I was recently browsing the Web, and one page I displayed popped up a message that included the text "The 'HoeflerText' font wasn't found.” I clicked the button the message offered, and Chrome downloaded something, but now I’m worried that I downloaded something I shouldn’t have. Did I do something wrong?
Oops. You got bit by an ugly bit of malware, and we can only recommend that you take precautionary measures to clean your computer. This is a scam that currently targets Windows computers only, and only affects the Google Chrome browser. The malware rewrites the contents of the Web page so that it’s illegible, pops up a message directing the hapless user to download a missing font, and in downloading the specified file, installs malware on the local computer. This generally happens on compromised sites created using the extremely popular Wordpress site-creation software (and therefore could potentially affect millions of public Web sites). The real problem is that the error (an unreadable Web page) looks totally real, and the proposed solution looks credible.

Here’s the takeaway: Don’t ever download anything from a site that you don’t know and trust. If a site seems to require a font that you don’t have on your computer, just assume that it’s a scam, and say “no.”

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