StartUp Britain launched today in which it will attempt to champion the UK’s start-up businesses. For my fellow Brits, you might ask yourself could this be too little too late? Can we really compete with Silicon valley? I couldn’t see any links to what funding and who will provide this? This is mightly important for us entrepreneurs. Our Prime Minister and Sir Richard Branston fronted the launch, but I suspect they may well want to run for cover now, since the government-backed website linked to a page hosting an anti-virus program via a malvertising campaign.
Considering the government has widely promoted the initiative, it has to come to be a disappointment that they didn’t check every link for malicious activity! Paul Baccas from our friends at Sophos identifed that the link (which only affected Internet Explorer) was featured in an article about US investor Warren Buffet. It took users to a fake banking site called bankling.com where users were redirected to a fake anti-virus page which then gave a prompt saying the users computer was infected and that they should download a fix.
Startup Britain is unavailable for comment – and I’m thinking they may well want to stay quiet on this embarassment. I’m surprised any one of a number of leading UK security companies were not consulted in regards security of the site. Malicious URLs or ads can be avoided if they were checked prior to launch. No excuses StartUp Britain!
Safe surfing folks!