The webcomics blog about webcomics

Frickin’ Vandals

A pretty deep swath of webcomics had their traffic interrupted yesterday because of malware warnings; the thing of it is, there was never any malware to begin with. Somebody, bored presumably, decided to toss some code into an ad frame whose sole purpose was to trigger Google’s malware detectors, leading to automated warnings and who knows how many reluctant readers. Known to be affected were comics associated with Hiveworks, Questionable Content, and The Devil’s Panties — none of which, it should be stressed again, are believed to have been an actual risk.

I’d almost be able to understand this behavior better if there had been some kind of reward in it; if there were some kind of equities market for webcomics and driving down readership for some high-traffic sites meant that somebody could make some money by shorting those comics, that I could understand (it would still be reprehensible and sociopathic, but at least there would be a motivation). This, though? Pointless.¹

¹ Congratulations, Expert Hacker, you annoyed a bunch of people that you will never meet, caused work for people that had other things to do, and it didn’t benefit you at all beyond the fact that you proved to yourself that you could. We all agree now: you exist, you matter, you’re just as important as you always suspected you were and you are so cool. No, really.

² You have to watch something while waiting for the Strip Search finale to air in … just under eight hours.

Gosh, I sure appreciated manually scrubbing annoying code from 30 sites’ ad codes first thing in the morning -_- Thankfully there was no actual malware. A few sites across the webcomics community were having trouble with actual trojans late last summer, including some of the ones I work on… and surprisingly those were actually LESS of a problem because we didn’t get auto-blacklisted for 20 hours.

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