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StartUp Britain starts with malware on its site

Glitch links it to a page hosting bogus anti-virus software

By CBR Staff Writer

A link in the website of StartUp Britain, a government-backed website to help new businesses in the UK, has inadvertently directed users to malware, according to reports.

Security company Sophos said the website linked to a page hosting bogus anti-virus software.

Sophos senior threat researcher Paul Baccas said that the link was present in a story on US investor Warren Buffet. On clicking, it directed users to a fake banking site.

"It went to a third-party site,, where users were redirected to a fake anti-virus page given a prompt saying their computer was infected and encouraging them to download a fix," he said.

The problem seemed to be only with Internet Explorer users.

The glitch could be embarrassing for the government, as the campaign has the full support of Prime Minister David Cameron who also launched the website on 28 March.

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A statement form the website reads, "StartUp Britain is a new campaign by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, launched on 28th March 2011. Designed to celebrate, inspire and accelerate enterprise in the UK, it has the full backing of the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and HM Government."

StartUp Britain said that it has removed the link.

It told the BBC, "There were some issues with a link on the website at the launch. This issue has been addressed and any links that were not operating as intended have been amended or removed."

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