Click Here To Get Infected With A Virus!

from the and-people-click dept

Remember back in the early days of internet banner advertising, when the "rules" were that you had to include the phrase "click here!" somewhere in your banner ad to let clueless surfers know that they could actually click on the ad and dig deeper into your advertising goodness? Apparently, that old "click here" trick still works -- even when the ad is promising to infect your computer with a virus. A security researcher put up a Google text ad reading: "Is your PC virus-free? Get it infected here!" Apparently, that was enough to convince 409 people to click on the ad over the course of about 6 months. As the Wired blog post notes, it's quite likely that some of those people figured it was a joke and were curious and another group probably only skimmed it quickly and naturally assumed it was for an anti-virus product. Still, it's an interesting bit of data -- made even more interesting by the guy saying that no one ever complained about the ad and Google never noticed it.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    identicon
    RandomThoughts, May 15th, 2007 @ 10:12am

    Maybe people wanted to check their virus protection programs.

    I once watched a guy push on the barrel of a .45 with the palm of his hand and then pulling the trigger to see if the safety feature would actually prevent it firing.

     

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    Andrew, May 15th, 2007 @ 10:20am

    And another group...

    And another group of people were Linux users who wanted to laugh as the virus did nothing

     

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    chris, May 15th, 2007 @ 10:47am

    aww man!

    why the hell didn't I get a virus?

     

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    identicon
    glitch, May 15th, 2007 @ 11:16am

    i am a recent convert to Kubuntu

    and i never, ever want to be classified a typical linux user

    i find Linux users everybit as distastefule as Microsoft shills

     

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    identicon
    Mr. Magoo, May 15th, 2007 @ 11:20am

    Just like...

    Paris Hilton found the same thing out long ago. "Touch here and get a virus!"

     

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    RSSONEPR, May 15th, 2007 @ 11:23am

    CLICK HERE!

    Funny enough, we all clicked to read the posting.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 15th, 2007 @ 1:08pm

    You're all talking rubbish. It's impossible to get infected by any virus on a windows computer.

    Windows firewall is simply too advanced. Viruses bounce off it like peas off a tank.

     

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    Grandfather Time, May 15th, 2007 @ 1:23pm

    Darn....

    I was hoping to get my free virus....

    I wanted to name him slappy......

     

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    Jay, May 15th, 2007 @ 1:59pm

    giggity giggity goo

    and then the Linux users went to do an upgrade and had to rebuild their computer again...so the Linux user bought an Apple cuz that was much easier for the Linux user to use...

     

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    Kevin, May 15th, 2007 @ 2:02pm

    virus...

    Hey I know lets all put on penguin tshirts and then you can come over to my house to play dungeons and dragons...

     

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    identicon
    Former gunshop manager, May 15th, 2007 @ 3:33pm

    #1

    Had a clerk shoot himself through his hand the way described in comment #1 above. Could not believe it. Lucky for him he was playing with his .25 auto. Unlucky for me the bullet still had enough energy to put a hole in the front display window!

     

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    identicon
    Darryl, May 15th, 2007 @ 5:21pm

    "my ad was displayed 259,723 times and clicked on 409 times"

    This is really newsworthy? With the percentage if the internet population tht are complete imbeciles, I'm simply surprised that the figure is so low.

     

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    TechNoFear (profile), May 15th, 2007 @ 9:19pm

    Limits to everything but stupidity.....

    I worked creating on-line share trading software for a while.

    We had a 'white label' product and resold it to different brokers, including two major banks.

    The online account creation form had been used for over a year without issue (or much change).

    For some reason 10% of the new bank's customers 'ticked' every box on the form, even the mutually exclusive choices.

     

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    IronChef, May 15th, 2007 @ 10:55pm

    Yep, I fell for it.

    I like admitting mistakes. But understand that the most influential person I've ever met in my professional life had this to say about mistakes "Only when sleeping do you make no mistakes. Mistakes are the privilege of the active person, who can start over and put things right."


    I remember seeing this ad and clicked on it thinking it was a link to a dry-humor joke site. I figured that Google had some quality control mechanism-- possibly limit credit cards for ads to business credit cards.

    When I clicked on it, it scared me because all it did was close my browser window. Spent a whole day virus-scanning, SpyBotting, and optimizing registry settings.

    In the end I'm happy that I did because my computer runs quite a bit faster now, but that certainly doesn't excuse Google's lax QC standards...

     

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      Brutus Beefcake, May 16th, 2007 @ 11:17am

      Re: Yep, I fell for it.

      "When I clicked on it, it scared me because all it did was close my browser window. Spent a whole day virus-scanning, SpyBotting, and optimizing registry settings."


      You need a better OS.

       

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    Ron Larson, May 16th, 2007 @ 11:03pm

    In high school I worked weekends at an equipment rental yard. One morning this guy rented a sand blaster. So I hooked it up to his hitch and then fired it up to demonstrate how to use it.

    He grabbed the hose from me and tells me he already know how to use it. He turns it on the air pressure, then the sand valve, but nothing comes out.

    Then to my shock he decides to check the sandblaster by pointing the nozzle at his hand to feel for air coming out. I was shocked! I grabbed the hose from him and yelled at him for being such an idiot. "What if some sand decided to come out just then?", I screamed at him. "You would have lost your hand!"

    The guy just looked at me stupidly. I showed him how to test for air pressure by sprinkling some loose grains of sand on the ground and pointing the nozzle at them.

    I just remember looking at this idiot wondering how on earth he had managed to live to the age he did and still have his limbs intact.

     

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    identicon
    asp, Jun 1st, 2007 @ 12:54am

    Бараны

     

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    identicon
    MOO, Aug 5th, 2008 @ 2:03pm

    gentlebob@hotmail.com

     

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    identicon
    Kyle R, Feb 5th, 2009 @ 8:21am

    Trying to get a virus

    I clicked this hoping it would download a virus on this school computer, it's hard drive is hooked up to the other 1000 computers in here...

     

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      identicon
      he who shall remain nameless, Aug 1st, 2010 @ 1:48pm

      Re: Trying to get a virus

      then you wouldn't be able to use the computers at school. the teachers would have to keep you busy somehow, probably with more work.

       

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