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Click Here To Infect Your PC!

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the proving-a-point dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 215

Email me for FREE viruses writes "Just how many people would click an ad saying "Is your PC virus-free? Get it infected here!"? According to the security researcher who ran that very ad on Google for 6 months, 0.16% (409 of 259,723) would click on it. 98% of those people were running Windows. The Google Adwords campaign cost $23 in total, which works out to $0.06 per infection had the site actually been malicious."

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Goatse! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19142717)

Goatse! [goatse.ch]

Everyone loves a good goatse.

Re:Goatse! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19142875)

I wonder what's the click-through rate for goatse..

Re:Goatse! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19143163)

just the once

How many slashdotters (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19142723)

Then went and clicked on the link in the article? :P

Re:How many slashdotters (5, Funny)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142837)

You mean amongst the approximately 0.16% who actually RTFA? :o)

Re:How many slashdotters (4, Funny)

simm1701 (835424) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142987)

Yes but I did it from lynx, on a non priveliged account, on an AIX box - I'd like to have see the malware that would target that!!!

I'm not paranoid!! They are out to get me!!

Re:How many slashdotters (3, Funny)

weighn (578357) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143289)

I'm not paranoid!! They are out to get me!!
hmm, there's still scope for narrowing the attack surface. I'll snail-mail you a C64 port of Lynx and follow with a MD5 hash to your next door neighbor 2 weeks later ...

Re:How many slashdotters (2, Interesting)

Columcille (88542) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143291)

That was my thought. Had I seen something like this, chances are I would have clicked it just to see what they were trying to do.

It's hardly a surprise (4, Funny)

Xiph (723935) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142725)

to tech professionals, that users need clue distributed by bat

Re:It's hardly a surprise (2, Interesting)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142745)

It's like sex. People know full well they'll get infected, they click, they get infected, they spend several months or years in denial until their body slows to a crawl.

Re:It's hardly a surprise (4, Funny)

the unbeliever (201915) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142757)

Getting rid of most std's is easier than getting rid of some spyware/viruses...

Consider your average spyware/virus akin to chlamydia or syph, while the really nasty stuff is more like aids/herpes...

Granted, you can't reformat your body and get rid of it, but if you consider a reformat more along the lines of reincarnation...

Time for a crusade! (2, Funny)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142871)

Getting rid of most std's is easier than getting rid of some spyware/viruses...

We need to go on a crusade to teach people how to surf porn safely, such as avoiding using a firewall on a microsoftie, but to make sure you have a hardened system first!

Re:Time for a crusade! (4, Funny)

ronanbear (924575) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142917)

If you had a hardened system first then porn wouldn't be as useful.

Re:It's hardly a surprise (4, Insightful)

Eivind (15695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142905)

The worst-case scenario are however very significantly different.

Worst-case for a virus-infected windows-machine ? Complete reinstallation. A day lost, hell make it "toss away $1000 machine".

Worst-case for std ? Death.

Not really comparable.

Re:It's hardly a surprise (2, Informative)

repvik (96666) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143265)

Worst case isn't "complete reinstall". It's "complete reinstall, and remove BIOS to reflash on another board". There are viruses that reflashes your BIOS rendering your PC unbootable.

Re:It's hardly a surprise (2, Insightful)

cornjones (33009) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143319)

no, worst case is all of your data compromised, potentially financial/personal etc....

it is possible that this would be worse than death for some (unlikely, but possible)

Have phun with adwords web logs... (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142935)

While idly clicking around on the Didier Stevens' page, I found the following gem (on the page about Spamdexing [wordpress.com] ):

These are the fields of a click-trough event entry:
  • ...
  • Query - the query issued by the user, case shifted with most punctuation removed.
  • ...
Hmmm, interesting. Wanna have some phun? Search for some offensive and/or funny phrase, and if ads come up, clickety away! (Hint: work brand names into your query... However, for some reason, word plays on Wii don't give the expected results... No ads, although Wii just by itself does work. Weird)

Sad... (3, Funny)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142733)

The sad thing is that using something more enticing like "Free boobs this way" would send millions of clueless Joe Windowses your way... All ripe for the picking.

Re:Sad... (4, Funny)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142795)

Which way did you say?

Badsense (4, Funny)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143035)

The sad thing is that using something more enticing like "Free boobs this way" would send millions of clueless Joe Windowses your way...
I can see the advert now:-

Free boobies for all! [wikipedia.org]
Cute booby chicks for your delectation! aff
en.wikipedia.org

Re:Badsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19143245)

Dang, Wikipedia's slow...!

Re:Badsense (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143299)

nice tits [williamtasso.com]

Re:Badsense (1)

thetable123 (936470) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143333)

heheh it says booby chick under one of the pictures. Thats cool.

Re:Sad... (2, Funny)

SkyDude (919251) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143199)

The sad thing is that using something more enticing like "Free boobs this way" would send millions of clueless Joe Windowses your way... All ripe for the picking.

And of course, no *nix users would EVER do that.....

0,16% (5, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142737)

At a click rate of 0,16% - about one in 600 - I have to wonder if not a fairly large portion is simple click errors. You intend to click on some other link nearby on the page but by mistake click that one instead. There's several kind of interaction slips just like that that we do in other circumstances after all.

Underserved group (5, Interesting)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142805)

At a click rate of 0,16% - about one in 600 - I have to wonder if not a fairly large portion is simple click errors.

At first I thought the same thing, just random misclicks. But then it hit me, there are a large number of users on the internet that don't have the know-how to install a virus on a computer of someone they hate, like an uppity coworker.

Imagine a bussiness model that would allow anyone to simply 1-click and install a virus (not a feature, those are patentable). Revenue would be generated with advertisments downloaded by the trojan, that would popup at random times on the victims computer. In essence, the victim would have to pay for the service. Brilliant!

Re:0,16% Mac/Linux users (4, Insightful)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142811)

And of that tiny percentage how many were Windows users taking the fairly safe bet that the ad didn't do what it said?

Re:0,16% Mac/Linux users (3, Insightful)

Zonk (troll) (1026140) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143167)

Virus scanners create a false sense of security.

<user> I have Norton. My computer is now immune to all viruses.
(one week later)
<user> I have a virus, can you fix it?

I've seen people many times think that because they had Norton or McAfee, that they could do whatever they want without having to worry about getting a virus and act reckless. Open every attachment they get in email, downloading and running random .exes from "FREE!!!!!!!!!" sites, use Internet Explorer, etc.

Re:0,16% Mac/Linux users (2, Insightful)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143305)

I wasn't talking about virus scanners, I was thinking more along the lines that it's very unlikely that the ad did what it said it would do, and much more likely it was study or a joke -- people would guess that before clicking it.

Re:0,16% (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142823)

Click errors, or pranksters being in an Internet café, in a computer shop, at school, at a "friend's" house, or being employees just about to be fired, who want to adequately "prepare" their PC for their successor.

Re:0,16% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19142941)

No. 98% of the people who clicked are Windows users. That means that either they are terrible at using the mouse, or they clicked the link deliberately.

or cache pre-fetch (4, Interesting)

jamesh (87723) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142999)

Would any aggressive cache pre-fetch engines follow links like this?

Re:0,16% (4, Insightful)

dour power (764750) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143243)

Even those who deliberately clicked on the link could have easily read the text as, "Get it inspected here!" Not an excuse, but certainly understandable. How many /. article postings contain at least one sincere reply of the form, "Am I the only one who read that as...?"

Re:0,16% (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143323)

Does it matter? I'm sure the virus writers are going to go "hmm, I don't think this person REALLY meant to click on the button to get here, let's not infect him!"

If people get into trouble because of clumsiness, that's still a valid sample. And if, like Microsoft, you chase any desktop market including the clumsy desktop market, you can't claim that security failures which exploit clumsies somehow don't count.

I really don't want to go here (-1, Flamebait)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142739)

But Microsoft has really made it easy to just f' up your system.

Ok, everyone begin their rants now...

Hmmm (5, Insightful)

gordgekko (574109) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142751)

It's news that at least 0.16% of people are idiots? Actually I'm shocked the number was this low. This is actually good news.

Re:Hmmm (1)

belmolis (702863) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142841)

Well, it means that 0.16% are idiots who can read. Unknown hordes of idiots can't read or don't use computers.

Re:Hmmm (2, Interesting)

Imaria (975253) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142853)

I was thinking the same thing; this actually bodes far better for common sense than I would have imagined otherwise.

Re:Hmmm (4, Insightful)

julesh (229690) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142893)

Consider that click through rates to a relevant ad are typically less than 3%. This represents 5% of people who would normally click on an advert.

Re:Hmmm (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142985)

Most of the people who actually clicked on it were not idiots but security consultants.

Re:Hmmm (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143023)

The percentage should be adjusted for the ratio of users that click Adwords in the first place though. Perhaps it's no more than 20% or so.

statistics (2, Interesting)

jonastullus (530101) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142755)

sorry, couldn't RTFA because the link text was kinda prohibiting.

the poster makes it sound as if the conclusion from the statistic is something like "oh my god, windows users are sooo dumb". but also quoting the percentage of all users using windows would reveal a prior probability of something in the 90s already. so, assuming that the "experiment" has an error greater 0, the deviation between the prior probability and 98% has almost no significance...

Re:statistics (3, Insightful)

richlv (778496) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142859)

i was reading that more as "no, that was not linux users clicking the link for fun". i mean, i would click on such a link ;)

Not exactly. (4, Insightful)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142773)

The Google Adwords campaign cost $23 in total, which works out to $0.06 per infection had the site actually been malicious."

Not exactly.

$0.06 per infection attempt, which is obviously not the same thing.

Attempted Infection == Infection (1)

weinrich (414267) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142887)

Given the demographic involved in this case, it's almost certainly the same thing. I think it shows up in Wikipedia as an example under "Inevitable" or "Foregone Conclusion."

Re:Attempted Infection == Infection (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143013)

Given the demographic involved in this case, it's almost certainly the same thing.

You wouldn't like when Windows users call your favorite distro totally user-unfriendly, unusable as a desktop system, or good for nothing more that a toy to hack in your free time.

It's the same thing when people bend the truth of Windows to fit their little propaganda and misfit elitism.

Re:Attempted Infection == Infection (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143189)

Usually I would agree with you.

But keep in mind that these people are virtually ALL running Windows and they just clicked a ad which promised to install malware on their computers.
They arent the brightest cookies in the jar.

Re:Attempted Infection == Infection (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143269)


But keep in mind that these people are virtually ALL running Windows and they just clicked a ad which promised to install malware on their computers.
They arent the brightest cookies in the jar.


You have no way of knowing what they thought when clicking this.

First of all, this is just a mind trick. Many people would read this ad in a hurry as an ad for antivirus software. The fact that it said "click here to infect your pc" doesn't make the ad more dangerous than if it said otherwise.

If you actually read what it exactly said, it looks like a joke. Have you seen a single scam that says "this is a scam, please install this spyware to steal your credit card"?

So, in this context, how is a clicking a link saying "infect me" any more dangerous than clicking a link that says "click here for totally harmless content".

You're free to have your fun at the expense of few curious or confused people who clicked a simple link for whatever reason, but it's really all just that, a funny joke. It means nothing else.

Re:Attempted Infection == Infection (1)

weighn (578357) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143341)

So, in this context, how is a clicking a link saying "infect me" any more dangerous than clicking a link that says "click here for totally harmless content"
I guess you should also consider how many people install crapware by following links that say bologna along the lines of "Your pc is at risk. Click here for ... ".

Re:Attempted Infection == Infection (1)

radish (98371) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143399)

I'd click it just to find out what was on the other side - I'm curious about such things. Yes I run windows, but I'm also reasonably confident in my security precautions. The point is, I think, that of that 400 or so clicks, we don't know how many were mistakes, how many were people mis-reading the link, how many were just plain idiots and how many were inquisitive types like myself. Thus, the raw statistic (400!!OMGWTF!!hahaL00zers!) is not really very useful or interesting.

Re:Attempted Infection == Infection (1)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143015)

You're forgetting that people who know enough to take basic security precautions can still suffer the moth-to-flame effect. I know I'm not completely immune. If I saw an ad like that I would be so mystified by how blatant it was that I would be really tempted to click it just to find out if it's serious or not.

Re:Not exactly. (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142961)

$0.06 per infection attempt, which is obviously not the same thing.
Not even that. The site had just some boring text on it, no actual virus. So, it didn't even attempt to infect the PC.

Re:Not exactly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19143057)

"$0.06 per infection attempt, which is obviously not the same thing."

True. I would probably click on the link to see what was up with that, and very likely wouldnt get infected.
Im sure most of those 400 people did it by mistake (misclick) or was curious and knew what was doing (ie, wouldnt get infected).

Re:Not exactly. (1)

Hercules Peanut (540188) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143069)

$0.06 per infection attempt, which is obviously not the same thing.
I don't know. 98% of 406=397.88 If you assume the author calculated $23/398, you get .057. Even if you accounted for all of the Windows users who surf the web protected, you would still likely need to divide by at least 397 which still leaves the number at .057.

Oh dear. (2, Interesting)

massivefoot (922746) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142791)

This just goes to show, not matter how much you warn people they're about to do something really dumb, the still will. How many people do you think read that advert, though "No, it can't possibly mean that..." and then clicked on it to see?

Re:Oh dear. (3, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142957)

Or how many people thought ' it cant happen to me, as im protected ', but were still curious what the page was about.

Re:Oh dear. (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142989)

"No, it can't possibly mean that..." and then clicked on it to see?
I did, but then I have Linux on my PC.

Browser stats (3, Interesting)

locofungus (179280) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142825)

The comments give the browser stats:

335 - some version of IE
52 - Some version of Firefox
5 - other

That gives Firefox a 15% share.

Tim.

Re:Browser stats (3, Insightful)

Torodung (31985) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142873)

Pretty much reflects total market share almost 1:1. When 90% of the consumer market uses MS as their OS, is it terribly surprising that 85% of consumer *morons* use it?

--
Toro

Re:Browser stats (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142991)

Pretty much reflects total market share almost 1:1. When 90% of the consumer market uses MS as their OS, is it terribly surprising that 85% of consumer *morons* use it?

There should always someone wrecking a good bashing with some plain logic, isn't there.

But boring jokes aside, it brings another topic into descussion. What would be the % of infected systems, if that WOULD be a malicious site.

On a patched up XP or Vista right now, are there active drive-by-downloads you can exploit on IE, Opera, Firefox?
If so, next question is, how many of them rely on JavaScript being enabled.

I'm not familiar with an active IE exploit for a patched up IE6/7 right now. Also on IE7 in Vista, an active exploit wouldn't be able to write the file to the disk and execute it, or modify system files and configuration.

Bottom line is, people clicked on a curious link, clicking a link isn't so terribly dangerous on a secure system.

Re:Browser stats (1)

Torodung (31985) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143111)

Even less dangerous if you're using Lynx! ;^)

I heartily agree with the spirit and content of your reply. Browsers are safe if configured properly. PEBKAC is the primary vector for most of this stuff, not a software company. ActiveX was an insecure design, as is .NET because of backwards compatibility, but if you whitelist in IE according to this document

http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/online/br owsing_safety.mspx [microsoft.com]

and browse the "Internet Zone," not at "High" as suggested, but with a "Custom" setting where every feature but the HTML interpreter is shut down, you're pretty darned safe. Run Spybot S&D's Teatimer, with the HOSTS modifications and read-only enabled, and you're close to immaculate.

I couldn't be arsed. I run Firefox because it's, to my belief, as secure as the circus I described above with far less trouble. "It's the lack of glaring design flaws." should be its slogan. ;^)

But you can secure IE just as well. It just takes some work and a bit of intelligence.

--
Toro

Re:Browser stats (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142973)

That gives Firefox a 15% share.
Not necessarily. It could also mean that Firefox users are more self-confident and thus have a higher probability of clicking on the link, because they know it can't harm them anyways...

Re:Browser stats (1)

locofungus (179280) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143075)

That gives Firefox a 15% share.

Not necessarily. It could also mean that Firefox users are more self-confident and thus have a higher probability of clicking on the link, because they know it can't harm them anyways...


Ha! I was going to suggest that firefox users are more "educated" and less likely to click on a link.

On the whole though I'd assume that there were the roughly same proportion of idiots in each camp

Tim.

Re:Browser stats (3, Interesting)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143125)

Ha! I was going to suggest that firefox users are more "educated" and less likely to click on a link.
It's not so simple. Their education allows them to know that they should not click on such a link in IE. But it also tells them to run Firefox. While running Firefox, especially on Linux, they would have no risk, and curiosity will win.

It might be more interesting (but harder to obtain) a statistic broken down not only by the browser which user is currently using, but also by browser which they usually use. Here an "usual Firefox user currently stuck on IE" might be less likely to click on such a link. But such data can unfortunately not be obtained, short of asking user directly.

Hmmm, and even in that case, the behavior might not be what would be expected. A "usual Firefox user currently stuck on IE" might still click on that link, in order to teach the party who stuck him on IE a lesson... Tricky, tricky...

On the whole though I'd assume that there were the roughly same proportion of idiots in each camp
Not necessarily. As shown above, both idiots and smart people might click on the link. But they would do so for different reasons.

Re:Browser stats (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143041)

Interesting, given that Firefox has a 12% [thecounter.com] market share that 15% of the people that clicked use Firefox.

Guess Firefox users aren't smarter than IE users after all.

Re:Browser stats (1)

locofungus (179280) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143131)

Interesting, given that Firefox has a 12% market share that 15% of the people that clicked use Firefox.

And there were no netscape users that clicked although your link gives 12% to netscape too.

The clickthrough stats give 73% to IE6, your link gives 56%

Doesn't really mean much (5, Insightful)

gazbo (517111) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142839)

Hell, if I saw that link I'd click on it for sure. Well, I might drop to Cygwin and use lynx "just in case", but there's no way I'd not investigate such a link.

ONLY? (3, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142845)

0.16%? I'd have guessed far more would click.

Next time call it "hot chicks with huge tits want to give you some love virus". I predict a /. effect.

Why does it matter what OS they were using? (5, Insightful)

Torodung (31985) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142847)

I once explained that browser security is almost entirely determined by the user. This proves it. I wouldn't trust that 0.16% with a pocket calculator, let alone a computer!

You can't write code or design software that will secure "stupid." Firefox and Linux are certainly easier to secure, and they have a better security model, but they aren't idiot proof.

If those folks were using an abacus, they'd probably get their head stuck in it! <G>

--
Toro

Re:Why does it matter what OS they were using? (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143059)

If those folks were using an abacus, they'd probably get their head stuck in it
Nice one! Is anyone keeping a bash.org-style archive of Slashdot quotes?

Re:Why does it matter what OS they were using? (2, Informative)

Faylone (880739) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143123)

I believe you're looking for http://seenonslash.com/ [seenonslash.com]

Malicious intent (2, Interesting)

canb (792889) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142851)

I think it might very well be possible that many of those clicks are made from computers that are not owned by the user. Like maybe the school's computer or a friend's (who has wronged you) computer that the user (who has access, but not the know-how of how to infect)would want to harm. So I'd wager that quite a few of those clicks would not qualify as a completely idiotic act.

specious argument .. (2)

rs232 (849320) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143047)

'I think it might very well be possible that many of those clicks are made from computers that are not owned by the user'

Without any evidence to the contrary your argument is entirely specious. How do we know they weren't space aliens.

was Re:Malicious intent (Score:5, excuses~1)

Idiots ? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19142855)

Maybe people clicking this link are not so dumb.

I would say that people clicking "Click here to check if your PC is virus-free !" are more stupid.
Personally, I wouldn't have clicked the "get infected", but I understand curious people who would because they are confident in their protection and this is kind of joke. When I see "Get your PC infected !", I think "no way, nobody can want this, must be a joke or something".

Of course, being confident in one's protection and using Windows IS stupid...

You pay all this money for AV software.. (2, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142885)

sometimes you just like to know that it is working.

I wonder if average users of AV software look at their "quarantined files" and do a rough calculation of how much each of them cost..

"Hmm, I paid $60 for AV software this year and I've had a grand total of 4 files quarantined.. that's $12.50 per file."

I guess not, as 99% of people probably have zero files quarantined, not counting the false positives (I know I do).

Re:You pay all this money for AV software.. (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142967)

I wonder if average users of AV software look at their "quarantined files" and do a rough calculation of how much each of them cost..

"Hmm, I paid $60 for AV software this year and I've had a grand total of 4 files quarantined.. that's $12.50 per file."


That puts my life insurance in perspective. I paid hundreds of dollars for it this year, and I've had a grant total of zero deaths. That' uhmm.. division by zero exception per death, I guess.

Re:You pay all this money for AV software.. (1)

DaleGlass (1068434) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142997)

That's the wrong metric though.

The right one is: Does AV software save more than it costs? Eg, if reimaging a box costs $100, and you've got to fix 50 of them because it spread all around the company and DoSed the network, then paying $60 per year per box(and you should get a MUCH better price than that if you're licensing for 50) is definitely worth it. Sometimes it's something annoying and mostly harmless, but some viruses have really nasty effects. Take Slammer for instance.

Re:You pay all this money for AV software.. (5, Funny)

seven7h (926826) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143005)

Looks like we have a member of the 0.16% here on /.
$12.50 x 4 = $50

Re:You pay all this money for AV software.. (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143145)

No, you're talking about someone who pays 60 bucks a year for AV software--the original calculation stands... ;)

This is only a test.... (2, Interesting)

Torodung (31985) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142889)

It is possible that some folks were testing their antivirus/patch status when they clicked? How many of them were loading the web page for forensic analysis?

Security "white hats" do things like that you know. All those hits could be FBI agents for all we know. ;^)

--
Toro

Re:This is only a test.... (2, Interesting)

ben there... (946946) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142983)

If I had seen it I'd click it. Just for the hell of it. Not because I think Firefox is completely invulnerable, but because it has a low probability of infecting me. Best case I cost some moron some money. Worst case I find a hole in Fx. Why not? That is, if I paid any attention whatsoever to Google Ads.

testing their AV .. ? (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143077)

'It is possible that some folks were testing their antivirus/patch status when they clicked?'

On the other hand it is possible that 100% of Windows users are morons as against 2% for the rest. No one in his right mind would click on a malicious link to test their antivirus/patch status.

As a test, in your work place, set up a power socket with a sign over it that says 'Testing the ELCB [alibaba.com] system, please insert fingers in socket'. Lets see how many you get.

Re:This is only a test....

summing up the numbers.. (2, Interesting)

anonymous_but_brave (1075911) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142891)

From a browser perspective, 52 clicks were Firefox and 335 were IE (added up from TFA). So, 13% of those who clicked were using Firefox. From what I recall, 10-15% of all internet surfers use Firefox... I personally would have suspected a larger proportion of IE users.

Huh? (4, Interesting)

julesh (229690) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142901)

Last time I ran a Google Adwords campaign, they'd drop your advert if you get less than a threshold clickthrough rate. I think it was 0.5%. It was certainly higher than 0.16%. So how did they do this? Have Google dropped that restriction?

Re:Huh? (2, Informative)

simong (32944) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143107)

As far as I can see they'll take your money for as long as you're willing to pay it. Your ad might fall back on to the second page of results but you're paying for the impressions as well as the clicks.

Re:Huh? (1)

Torodung (31985) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143127)

Three words: "Initial Public Offering"

--
Toro

For once I have an excuse... (3, Funny)

JetScootr (319545) | more than 7 years ago | (#19142903)

for not RTFA'ing. Being a true /.er, here's my opinion anyway:
Microsoft sucks. Users are idiots.

assuming they are humans (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19142955)


of course these clicks couldn't be from Spiders/Robots, a lot of rogue bots/spiders use the IE UserAgent so as to fool logs, they tend to click on every link (adverts and hidden spam trap links included) i know ive grepped my logs and see so-called IE "users" clicking on every single link and download on my site within 10sec, all the time (must be fast readers or a bot) look for MFC in the UA string too as this is a sign of the IE COM component which is what a lot of the bots/spiders use for their dodgy page slurping

so by the time you remove the bots from these stats you are probably left with 3 genuine clicks and a load of "LOL this advert cannot be serious, lets have a look" clicks

click_me.exe (4, Funny)

voudras (105736) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143017)

My good friend once joked that 95% of users would double click an icon named "ClickMe.EXE", without much thought at all.

the other 5 percent would right click and select open.

Wait.... (3, Funny)

ZeroSerenity (923363) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143105)

Was this story really submitted by Gates himself?

From a Windows Vista perspective (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143151)

How many people would click that stupid "Allow" Button if it said "Were gana fark up your PC....Allow?"

See? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19143171)

Think twice before you wish that such people switch to Linux.

I'm not elitist. I just think that a smaller market share is the best market share.

small number of people (1)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143211)

409 of 259,000 people is a pretty small percentage. How many of those clicks were just accidents where people only read the first sentance? How many were just mac people trying to make windows people look bad?

this is stupid (0, Troll)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143213)

I'd just like to point out that all of you posting on this thread got here by clicking a link which says "Click Here To Infect Your PC!". Therefore, by the authors logic (and the logic of many of the posters themselves) you're all a bunch of morons. Congratulations!

Re:this is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19143407)

I actually got here by clicking the read more link. Both you and the author are very good at making assumptions though :)

$23 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19143317)

$23 to come up with this figures, cheap!

I worked with a guy... (5, Interesting)

httpamphibio.us (579491) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143349)

He comes into work one day and you can tell by looking at him that he's pissed. He goes into the break room to get ready for the shift so I go back there and ask him what's wrong.

He says, "I'm need a new ****ing computer."
I ask why...
"because the one I have now is too slow. I can't use the web because I get hundreds of popups."
I tell him that's a pretty easy thing to fix and off to burn a CD and write up some directions for him.
He tells me that won't work... again, I ask why.
"Because I'm ****ing sick of Microsoft."
I tell him I totally understand that, but that his problem with the pop-ups is pretty easy to fix.
He says, "No, it's not. I click on all the Windows that ask me if I want to remove the viruses from my computer and they are always charging me $20-$40 per virus. I spent almost $400 last week!"

Another computer savvy employee had joined the conversation by this point and we both looked at each other in complete disbelief. The guy wasn't joking...

My PC is still virus-free? (2, Funny)

nickspoon (1070240) | more than 7 years ago | (#19143389)

I'm disappointed.
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