In response to those reports on Christmas Day of readers apparently being attacked by malware programs when viewing the Locus Online website, I contacted our hosting service, CI Host, about the problem, and they responded quickly, within the hour, to say that our dedicated server had been checked for abnormal processes and files and been found clean.
A couple of the email reports implied it was one (or another) of the banner ads that was responsible, and I suspect this is the case… But this being a long holiday weekend, I have no way of contacting HarperCollins or BBC or GorillaNation to alert them of a potential problem. If reports keep coming in, I’ll pursue this on Monday.
I downloaded and ran the Anti-Malware utility suggested by Making Light, and found my own computer clean.
Meanwhile, however, I have today experienced another odd problem, which I don’t understand in the context of the possible malware problems. All day today, when viewing websites with links to ad servers, the loading of the page in my browser hangs, for minute or more at a time, while waiting for a response to one or another ad server… ads.pno.net or googlesyndication.com or falkag.net or whatever… including my own pages, as I was editing them before posting, to the point I had to comment out ad links on the latest Gary Westfahl review just so I could view the updated page on my C drive as I was formatting it. Could my computer be infected with something that blocks ad servers? Just now, rechecking these, most are better. But not all. And yes of course I’m running standard, updated, antivirus software (on this my main PC, Norton).
–Update next day: whatever the problem was, it was solved by rebooting my cable modem. Never mind.