- The Washington Times - Friday, January 9, 2015

Huffington Post website visitors beware: A virus may now have infected your computer.

Over the past week, that site — as well as several other major websites — displayed advertisements that were infected with malware that wound on to clickers’ own computers and locked them down, CNN Money reported.

The cybersecurity firm Cyphort discovered the issue and said the perpetrators are demanding money to unlock those computers that were infected with the malware, the news site said.

It’s not clear how widespread the virus is, and how many computers were impacted. CNN Money reported that the virus seems to have hit those computers that run older browsers — including Internet Explorer 8. Those using the updated version of Internet Explorer 11, or Google Chrome and Mozilla’s most recent Firefox version, were not impacted, the news outlet reported.

The at-issue ads ran between Dec. 31 and Jan. 5. But Cyphort officials said the attack could have gone on as long as October, CNN Money said.

Anyone using the older browser versions are at risk. Simply visiting the website was enough to get the malware, CNN Money said.

The malware ads were shown on The Huffington Post, the men’s online magazine FHM, alternative newspapers LA Weekly and Houston Press, and the video gaming site, GameZone, along with several others, CNN Money reported.

AOL, the parent of The Huffington Post, said in a statement that the company “quickly took the necessary steps to rectify” the problem, spokesman Gerasimos Manolatos said, CNN Money reported.

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