Menu
Plenty of fish, and exploits too, on dating website

Plenty of fish, and exploits too, on dating website

The Plenty of Fish online dating website served a malicious advertisement to visitors

Recent visitors to Plenty of Fish (pof.com), an online dating website with over 3 million daily active users, had their browsers redirected to exploits that installed malware.

The attack was launched through a malicious advertisement that was distributed through a third-party ad network, researchers from security firm Malwarebytes said in a blog post Thursday.

The malicious ad pointed to the Nuclear exploit kit, a Web-based attack tool that exploits known vulnerabilities in browsers and popular browser plug-ins like Flash Player, Java, Adobe Reader and Silverlight.

If the attack is successful, the tool installs malware programs on users' computers. The Malwarebytes researchers haven't captured the payload from the Plenty of Fish attack, but a malvertising campaign launched through the same ad server a day earlier distributed an online banking Trojan program known as Tinba.

"Given that the time frame of both attacks and that the ad network involved is the same, chances are high that pof[dot]com dropped that Trojan as well," the researchers said.

The server that distributed the malicious ad is ad.360yield.com and appears to be operated by a real-time advertising firm called Improve Digital that's headquartered in Amsterdam. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This attack does not mean that Plenty of Fish had its servers or systems compromised, like what recently happened to adult dating site Ashley Madison.

Malvertising attacks are the result of criminals tricking or hacking into advertising networks so they can display malicious ads on legitimate websites that use those networks.

This kind of attacks have been around for years, despite significant efforts by advertising companies to prevent them, and are quite dangerous because they are completely transparent to the victims. Users just browse to a known and trusted website and have their computers infected in the background.

Since exploit kits like Nuclear typically target known vulnerabilities, it's important to keep software programs, especially browser plug-ins, up to date. Running up-to-date antivirus products that could detect the exploit payload, even if the exploit is successful, is also very important.

Even if you've taken all these precautions, if you visited pof.com recently it's probably best to run a malware scan as soon as possible.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

In 2017, merger and acquisitions fever reached new heights in New Zealand, with a host of big name deals dominating the headlines. Reseller News recaps the most important transactions of the Kiwi channel during the past 12 months.

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017
Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

The channel in New Zealand came together to celebrate the close of 2017, as the final After Hours played out in front of a bumper Auckland crowd.

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP honoured leading partners across the channel at the Partner Awards 2017 in New Zealand, recognising excellence across the entire print and personal systems portfolio.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments