Today a client, knowing my background in IT, reached out to me and asked me if his Samsung Galaxy Android phone was infected, or if the DrudgeReport.com was trying to install malware (malicious software) on it.
What is the Drudge Report?
This is a website run by Matt Drudge. The site links to other stories around the web. It is a very powerful and heavily trafficked website that millions of people visit regularly. If you’re in to Internet Marketing at all, you are familiar with this website. Some would call the Drudge Report a “conservative news aggregation website”. You can visit the Drudge Report here.
Is the Drudge Report Installing Malware on Android Phones?
I fired up my Galaxy S7 in Incognito mode and saw no problems. At first. Upon reading some of the headlines about Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, I was suddenly greeted with this pop up on my vibrating Android device, a “warning” from amisk.com, and it says I have been visiting naughty websites and that my phone is about to be destroyed. Haha! This sounds stupid but you would not believe how many people will continue down this road…
I clikcked ok and I was greeted with this next screen which reads “Your phone has (13)serious virus…. If you do not clear the virus, your phone will be severely damaged”:
The call to action here is the “now remove the virus” button.
I should point out that on Android devices you can install apps and software from anywhere on the web, not just the Play Store, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, you are going to infect your phone with Malware.
Why is Drudge Report trying to install Malware on my cell phone? (or are they a victim?)
In Drudge’s defense, they likely have no idea that this is taking place on their website. Popular websites are always the target of people trying to install malicious apps and software, that way they can infect the most devices as quickly as possible.
I did not dig into this but I suspect that since the pop-up only happens occasionally that the malware is being served via advertisements on DrudgeReport.com. In fact, this type of infection is sometimes called “malvertising”. Furthermore, the Drudge Report utilizes an ad network called InterMarkets.
A quick search of malvertising intermarkets drudge brings me right to this article which breaks down previous malvertising on Drudge Report in 2015, 2013, and 2010.
This can happen anywhere
This issue is not unique to Drudge Report. If you suddenly see a pop up on your phone which says you need to install something, close the window or shut your phone off.
Do not click through to additional pages, and do not install any software or “anti-virus 360” or anything like that.
If you DO want an antivirus, check out ESET Mobile Security & Antivirus; it is what people like me use on multiple platforms.
If you see a problem like this, report it to the webmaster.
Update 4/7/2016: I just noticed there is a way to email the Drudge Report and I’m sending them a link to this article now.
Update 4/8/2016: My email to Drudge Report bounced back. 🙁
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This has been happening to me on August 9 2016, I can’t even browse the site. Glad to know it is their website and not my phone!
I note also drudge is being seriously being interfered buy page cov4ing adds and messages. There is no exit. Each time there is interference I’m forced to close Drudge and reopen. Drudge has invited so much advertising I feel As if He is getting ready to pull the plug if he is able to glean a health net gain to retire. Something is definitely going on. At this date it does not appear to be anything safe for loyal users and loyal followers of Drudge . Been searching for a new arrogate, conservative news source. Nothing so far. Drudge has been good until recently. Hard to know who is trustworthy anymore. J U
Just happened today. I didn’t open. Drudge needs to correct. Probably Hillary’s gang infecting site to discourage viewers.
Agree. Have never visited “questionable” websites on my android phone. Believe warnings are total bs. I reboot phone. Funny, it only happens when I tool around Drudge. (I do every day)
Getting from drudge report i believe, last couple of days on android chrome browser.
Security-warning.free-mob…. is the beginning of the website string.
Similar screens with system is heavily damaged from Four virus!
I get these popups on The Blaze
Just for you: http://www.telapost.com/the-blaze-malware/
I get this on Drudge and Breitbart News. It has been very annoying because you can’t get out of it. Glad to know I have to turn my phone off immediately. Thank you!!
You can also hit the “menu” button and “Close All”
So annoying. Should i not bother with restoring phone to factory condition? Or is an app causing this popup only on certain Web sites? Sure seems to be an anti Trump deep state inflicted move. Drudge and Breitbart? Why not any of the fake news Web sites?
Just shut down the browser an re-open it. It is just a pop up that takes over til you close out of it..
Getting this as well and only on Breitbart and Drudge. I emailed the webmaster at Breitbart about it. No response. Helps if I hit the stop loading page X in the Web address bar after the page initially loads and before ads finish loading.
Are you from State Farm? 😉
Yeah a couple of people emailed me today to say they are getting popups and virus alerts, etc. on Breitbart’s mobile site. It is all through their ad delivery network. If I get time I will try and figure out which one they are using. They should really fix that – they must be driving away a boatload of mobile users…
What if since this seems to happen on conservative sites and it does with me it seems. I feel android or something is targeting conservative sources with these ads and stuff.
I keep getting $100 Walmart gift card popups when I visit Drudge Report on my Samsung Galaxy S8 cell phone
Yeah you bet your a$$ their targeting those sites just like baning people from twitter sensoring people on facebook. While people talk about killing the president on differnt social media sites.
It’s not a conspiracy
Dec 18, 2017. My Drudge browsing popped up the same malware popup this morning on my Android. I like Drudge but until I see a headline elsewhere that Drudge acknowledges the issue, I won’t go back there. Too bad, since it is probably a liberal plot.
Happening again. 12/11/18