'Twilight' Author's Website Hosted Zombie Malware
In a plot twist straight from one of her own wildly popular books and movies, "Twilight" author Stephenie Meyer's website was found hosting a malware kit that infected visitors and, even worse, turned their systems into zombies, according to the security firm Avast.
Meyer's site, www.stepheniemeyer.com, hosted "Crimepack," an exploit kit designed to exploit a number of flaws in the systems of those who visited her site. Avast researchers identified the lurking threat yesterday (Feb. 23). Meyer's site has since been cleaned of the threat, according to researchers at GFI Labs.
Before it was detected and scrubbed, however, Meyer's site was a dangerous trap for unsuspecting people just trying to get a read on the author. Not only did Crimepack attempt to infect the Web browsers of Windows systems who landed on the site, it also latched onto those victims and recruited them into its botnet.
Essentially, visiting Meyer's site before Crimepack was removed meant your computer might have been recruited into a network of infected systems acting like a zombie army, launching attacks and sending spam on behalf of the malware authors.
Threats such as these can be hard to detect because there are rarely any outward signs that the site your visiting is rigged. But an ounce of prevention — in this case, up-to-date anti-malware software — is the first step to avoid the pounding your computer would take if sophisticated malware like Crimepack were to infect your system.