On April 3, The Verde Independent was contacted by marketing and IT staff at Northern Arizona Healthcare reporting that a hospital employee (or employees) had received a virus alert from their computer malware when trying to access the newspaper's website, verdenews.com.
The health care group, which operates Flagstaff Medical Center and Verde Valley Medical Center, sent a copy of the virus alert to the newspaper's Web Division staff.
After investigating the report, it was quickly determined that the employee was accessing a different website not owned by the newspaper.
The virus alert provided by the hospital showed that the hospital user(s) were clicking on a link to a website owned by a company in Los Angeles using a domain similar to the Verde Independent.
The Verde Independent has no association with the Los Angeles company. The California-based company appears to be running a phishing website. Phishing is the act of attempting to acquire information from users.
The hospital user likely typed the wrong domain in a forwarded email or directly into his or her browser, and then clicked on one of the many links displayed on the phishing site page.
The Verde Independent's website hosting partners have comprehensive security in place to guard against viruses on our servers, and they aggressively monitor them for security violations.
The Verde Independent's news site, verdenews.com, continues to be completely clean of any virus threats.