Jamie Oliver is a popular celebrity chef whose website, jamieoliver.com was hacked by unknown hackers who infected his website with malware that enabled the hackers to take control of the computers of many of the ten million monthly visitors to his website since December until a few days ago when the problem was identified and fixed. The hacking was discovered by the security firm Malware Bytes, the makers of excellent security software, which I use myself. This particular hacking injected the malware into the website itself, so visitors did not even have to click on links within the website to risk becoming infected. The particular malware enabled the hackers to take over the victims’ computers to utilize them for the sending of spam or phishing communications as well as to steal personal information from the victims’ computers to use to steal the identity of the victim. It should be emphasized that the problem has been corrected, however this type of attack brings up many questions about how do we stay safe when surfing the Internet.
The first thing to do if you have gone to the Jamie Oliver website since the beginning of December is to have a security scan of your computer or other electronic device done with updated anti-virus and anti-malware security software. The hackers in this particular case exploited a vulnerability in the Adobe Flash Player which was patched in January of 2015. You can find links to the patch in the Scamicide security updates found in some Scams of the Day for January. Adobe Flash has long been a favorite of hackers and it is critical, as I have advised you many times, to keep the software you used up to date with the latest security patches which is why I provide you with links to those patches as they become available. The hackers also exploited vulnerabilities in Java software and Microsoft’s Silverlight. Java is another software program popular with not just the public, but also with hackers so you should always be sure to maintain your Java software up to date with the latest security patches.