Government-backed Website in Malware Scare

It has emerged that StartUp Britain, which launched on Monday, linked to a page hosting fake anti-virus programs, according to security firm Sophos.

It will be an embarrassment for the government, which has been widely promoting the initiative.

The link was removed shortly after launch, according to StartUp Britain.

It told the BBC in a statement: "There were some issues with a link on the website at the launch. This issue has been addressed and any links that were not operating as intended have been amended or removed."


According to Paul Baccas, a senior threat researcher at Sophos, the link featured in an article about US investor Warren Buffet and took users to a fake banking site.

"It went to a third-party site,, where users were redirected to a fake anti-virus page given a prompt saying their computer was infected and encouraging them to download a fix," he said.

In reality, the fix contained malware.

The exploit only affected users of Internet Explorer, including the most recent versions. Other browsers, including Firefox, were not affected.

There have been a number of reports recently of links to fake anit-virus programs and it seems to have become a favoured way of delivering malware.

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