Danger level 9
Type: Other

Malvertising - a new method to distribute malicious software

Cyber criminals have employed a new method called malvertising recently. This technique is used for bad purposes; it seems that its main aim is to distributed malicious software. Our security experts have revealed that malware is delivered through booby-trapped advertisements. Thus, it is probably not surprising at all that various advertising networks, agencies, and serves are involved in this. For example, DoubleClick.net, which is a legitimate advertising service, has been used to display various unreliable advertisements on examiner.com, whereas ad agency called Zedo is related to the malvertising attacks that have happened on the popular music website last.fm. Keep in mind that even legitimate websites can become the distributors of malicious software. In most cases, everything starts with simple advertisements and might end up on the unreliable places on the web that contain malicious software. Therefore, computer users should be cautious nowadays in order not to cause serious harm to their systems.

In most cases, various malicious redirections might happen when users click on Flash-based advertisements. If you wonder why these ads are used by cyber criminals, you should know that the main reason is that they look legitimate, but still can perform silent redirections through ActionScript code. For instance, if you visit a pornographic site and click on the advertisement displayed by AdXpansion, your browser might be redirected to an exploit kit landing page. This is done for one simple reason – to infect the visitors with malicious software. It has to be emphasized that GIF animated pictures are also used for the same matter.

Malvertising attacks use several tactics in order to bypass traditional security scanners that search for black-listed URLs or particular patterns. The specialists have revealed that it affects browser cookies mainly. Thus, malicious URLs are built from browser cookies and are not stored in HTML source. According to our security experts, the malicious URL tends to be divided among cookies; thus, security tools cannot recognize and classify them as being malicious.

As malvertising might affect the systems of ordinary computer users, we recommend being very cautious. Of course, it is advisable to install and keep a security tool on the system all the time. However, computer users should take care of their computers’ security as well. If you are one of those who often visit various adult, file-sharing, torrent websites, and the like, you should ignore advertisements that might appear on your screen completely. It does not matter whether they will offer you to take part in a survey or just play online games, you should still close them straightaway.

Security experts advise computer users, who have been clicking on various ads till now, to scan the system with malware remover because serious computer infections might have already entered your system and now hide on your computer. If you are very concerned about your system’s security, there is no doubt that you should scan your PC with an antimalware tool, such as SpyHunter.

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