A website designed to encourage start-up firms in the UK was directing web users to a site hosting malware, says Sophos.

The security firm said an article about US investor Warren Buffet on the StartUp Britain site , which backed by the government, featured a link to a hoax banking site. On this site, web users were told their machine was infected with malware and encouraged to download a 'fix'.

However, the fix was actually malware, although it only affected Internet Explorer users, and not those using other web browsers. The link has since been removed.

"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," a spokesman for the website told the BBC.