What is up with Clearspring and malware?

July 31st, 2010

Google Chrome has been showing me a malware warning page today as I try to visit normally trusted and benign sites. I got this one just now as I tried to got to Planet RDF.

Warning: Visiting this site may harm your computer!

The website at planetrdf.com contains elements from the site bin.clearspring.com, which appears to host malware – software that can hurt your computer or otherwise operate without your consent. Just visiting a site that contains malware can infect your computer.

For detailed information about the problems with these elements, visit the Google Safe Browsing diagnostic page for bin.clearspring.com.

Learn more about how to protect yourself from harmful software online.

[ ] I understand that visiting this site may harm my computer. PROCEED

Clearspring claims it’s a technical problem, although they admit they were using a service that was compromised with files redirecting users to a certain malware domain. I’m a bit fuzzy on what clearspring does and where they are being used on the Planet RDF site. I don’t see it in the page source, for example.

update: Maybe the problem stems from flash cookies in blog content being syndicated by Planet RDF that have flash objects mediated by clearspring.