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Monday, 11 February 2019 11:15

Guardian Australia redirects Mac user to phishing site

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A Safari user has complained of being redirected to what looks like a phishing site when he visits The Guardian Australia website.

The user, who preferred to remain anonymous, told iTWire that he was first redirected to a site which did not load in full and displayed the name "coachtraffic.com" in the browser bar.

He was then redirected to a page which loaded fully, with the domain reading mac-safetycheck.com followed by a number of letters which did not spell out any pronounceable word.

The text on this page read: "Your system is potentially infected with 3 viruses. Our security check found potential traces of 2 malware and 1 phishing/spyware.

"Estimated system damage: 28.1% – Immediate removal might be required."

guardian phish

A button invited the user to "Scan now".

The user, who is highly computer literate, said he was running version 10.14.3 of the macOS operating system and using an anti-virus program by the name of Intego on his MacBook Pro.

Another message further down the page said: "IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED We have detected a potential trojan virus on your Mac. Press OK to begin the repair process."

iTWire loaded The Guardian Australia site on Firefox and Chrome on a Debian GNU/Linux system, but there was no sign of any redirect as experienced by the user.

The Guardian has been contacted for comment.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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