Virus alert: Google ads lure users to fake Norton download site

If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. So think twice if you are tempted to download a free copy of Norton Anti-Virus from the Internet.

Our sister site, AccountingWEB.co.uk reports that Graham Cluley, senior security analyst with anti-virus company Sophos, recently raised the alarm in his blog about a Trojan virus that was being disseminated via a bogus Norton download site.

After searching on Google for "free antivirus," Cluley clicked on one of the sites featured in the Sponsored Links column of the search results. This link led him to a convincing spoof page that was swathed in yellow - the corporate color of Norton owner Symantec. But his attempt to download the "free" version of the anti-virus application was interrupted by his own anti-virus code's blocking the installation of the FakeAV-AD Trojan horse virus.

If you have a few spare moments, Cluley's video of the exercise is engaging and instructive. Pausing to admire the Norton Anti-Virus packaging, which features a picture of a Hulk-like figure, Cluley quips, "It looks like Peter Norton has been working out."


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