December 30, 2009 – Members and guests of the popular Razorback message board Hogville.net are finding themselves battling some serious computer issues, as well as a little disinformation.
Tuesday evening the site’s staff began urgently advising their users to check their computers for infections that they may have received from visiting Hogville.net.
We’re very aware of the latest issues centered around the ads that we had up, posted Douglas, who is one of the lead technical administrators at Hogville.net. As a safety and security measure, everyone on a PC needs to do an anti-virus/anti-spyware check on their system.
While the exact issues and extent of problems aren’t clear, the source seems to be related to infected web ads and banners that have become prevalent throughout the for-profit Hogville.net site.
By Wednesday afternoon, no fewer than 3 stickyed threads related to the problems of the site adorned the main Monday Morning Quarterback forum, offering updates as well as some helpful albeit sketchy technical information.
Understandably, some of the visitors to the site were more than a little alarmed.
Can you elaborate, please? pleaded one of Hogville’s members. Does the site have an incoming or outgoing problem? I browse this site at work a lot and it would be nice to know if I may have inadvertently DL’d some malware to our network. Another user reported, funtikstore.ru add kept trying to run on the site but was “loading…” on my browser at the bottom and the site locked up. This happened with Firefox and Internet Explorer. SpyEraser popped up on my computer which I assume is a spyware program or trojan of some sort. I tried to delete it but I restarted my computer and it came back up and it took 93% of my resources. I was freaking out.
Some of the posters appeared frustrated and fearful of more widespread carnage.
Why can’t you go into details? demanded another user. If Tylenol issued a recall because of a defective product, I sure as hell would want “details”. Which ads were the problem? Did I have to click on them to be infected? Who did this? How do we know it won’t happen again? Sorry for the questions but this is a work computer, and if I get caught, I could be in trouble.
Other users were more blunt in their concern and criticism.
I won’t be logging in here from my work computer ever again, for this very reason, member fritolayhog proclaimed. How in the world can this happen? This is the sort of thing that happens at sketchy porn sites, not legitimate websites. How well you protect the server determines how at risk we are, apparently.
Malware, viruses, infected ads and unhappy users weren’t the only issues keeping the Hogville staff busy, either.
Hogvillians, just wanted to let everyone know we are experiencing some technical difficulties and all video on the homepage has been disabled, reported Scott Marshall, one of Hogville.net’s many global moderators. We hope to have the issues resolved soon. We took everything down in order to get to the root of the problem.
It is unclear whether the video issues afflicting the Hogville.net homepage are a separate design issue of the site (which has seen the homepage take an exceptionally long time to load in recent weeks), or if the video problems are part of the ad-related virus and malware issues.
While the Hogville administrators worked to tackle these problems, there still appeared an attempt to deflect blame and downplay responsibility and accountability by some staff. I need everyone to understand that we’re going above and beyond what is morally and ethically required to do so, proclaimed Douglas. It’s tough being the messenger in all of this.
Hogville.net recently partnered with Little Rock’s KARK-TV, Channel 4, and Fayetteville’s KNWA-TV, Channel 51. In July, Lanny Beavers, who founded and owns the Hogville.net website, explained these changes in an ArkansasSports360.com story. The biggest reason I’m doing this is for the fans. This is going to give Razorback fans something they’ve never had before.”
It’s hard to say how many users have been afflicted with malware and spyware by surfing the web, but the infection of so many by simply visiting Hogville.net is a unique experience to the history of all Razorback message boards.
It’s certainly giving many Razorback fans something they’ve never had before.