Jamie Oliver’s website has suffered a malicious injection that leads victims’ to install software capable of "wreaking havoc on the system", according to the security vendor Malwarebytes.
Jerome Segura, senior security researcher at Malwarebytes, said: "While routinely checking the latest exploits and sites hacked, we came across a strange infection pattern that seemed to start from popular website jamieoliver.com, the official site of British chef Jamie Oliver.
"Contrary to most web-borne exploits we see lately, this one was not the result of a malicious ad (malvertising) but rather a carefully and well hidden malicious injection in the site itself."
Once installed on the system the malware is said to hijack search engine requests, redirecting users to further software downloads that can ruinously attack a system.
According to Traffic Estimate jamieoliver.com received 2.8 million visits during January, though figures from the chef’s media group claimed monthly unique visitors of 7.7 million in 2014.
The admins of the website have since been contacted by Malwarebytes informing them of the alleged problem, but have yet to respond to requests for comment from CBR.
"The webmasters will need to look for additional evidence of infection, rather than simply restore or delete the offending script," Segura said. "Typically, stolen login credentials or a vulnerable plugin can allow an attacker to gain access to a remote server and alter it."
"When websites such as Jamie Oliver’s are compromised, both consumers and website owners are at risk," said Laurie Mercer, solutions architect at Veracode. "Users risk having their computers infected with malware and their money and identity stolen, whilst the Jamie Oliver Group risks losing customers’ trust.
"Even after the incident is addressed users will think twice before browsing that site over one of its competitors. Websites are the modern-day store front so it is vital that they are secure and protect their customers."