Software that hijacks the computer clipboard is being used to sell fake security software.
Security firms are warning about the weblink that is stored in the clipboard and is hard to delete. It has been found in flash-based adverts seen on legitimate websites and has been attacking clipboards on both Windows and Macs via the Firefox web browser.
As users log reports in discussion forums, a weblink appears in the clipboard in place of text that they thought they had placed there. It works by exploiting Adobe flash files that are used to make display adverts in a way that flushes the clipboard of other text and constantly re-inserts the link in its place.
Users have resorted to re-booting their computer to get rid of the link while others have killed the Firefox process thread. Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at security firm F-Secure, told the BBC website: “It's an interesting attack, but doesn't seem to be very widespread at the moment. I don't remember seeing this before. It is a pretty clever technique. Our work would be so much easier if our enemy would be stupid."