Do you know what Malvertising is?
Cyber criminals have started using a new method called malvertising. This widely used technique is employed to distribute malicious software via advertisements. Therefore, computer users should be very cautious all the time. This method has nothing to do with advertising-supported applications because advertisements might appear on your screen even if your computer is clean. It is because your browser cookies might be responsible for their presence. Computer users, who want to prevent malicious software from entering the system, should definitely not click on ads appearing on their screens. It has to be emphasized that malicious software might be distributed via advertisements that appear on legitimate websites as well. Therefore, our security experts recommend ignoring ads even if they seem completely trustworthy.Cyber criminals use a new technique for the distribution of malware screenshot
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The present research has shown that malvertising technique is closely related to decent advertising services and platforms, for instance, Google’s DoubleClick.net was used to display these unreliable advertisements on examiner.com and advertising agency Zedo is related to the attacks on last.fm. One of the most well-known torrent website The Pirate Bay exposed computer users to malicious content through rogue ads. In most cases, malicious redirections might happen if users click on Flash-based advertisements. However, some sources claim that GIF animated pictures are used for this matter as well. Flash-based ads are not used without a particular reason. As the present research has shown, cyber criminals have decided to use these ads because they look completely legitimate; however, they can still perform silent redirections. This is being done using ActionScript code. As it can be seen, it is very risky to click on ads because it is not known whether you will be taken to a reliable website or not.
Malvertising is a very dangerous method in a sense that computer users might be redirected to unreliable places and infect their systems with malicious software very quickly. For instance, if a user visits an adult website which displays advertisements via AdXpansion advertising service and clicks on some kind of advertisement that appears on the screen, his/her browser might be redirected to an exploit kit landing page. The main purpose of this action is to infect the visitor with malicious software. Actually, it is not even surprising because the main goal of this malvertising technique is to spread unreliable software.
The previously implemented research has shown that cyber criminals seek to hide these malvertising attacks. For instance, Google URL shortener is used to disguise the malicious URL. On top of that, it is very likely that cyber criminals hide URLs inside cookies in order to redirect unsuspecting users to malicious websites. As it can be seen, these suspicious URLs are related to browser cookies and they are not stored in the HTML source itself. Therefore, traditional security tools cannot categorize these URLs as being malicious. The main reason why it is so is the fact that they tend to look for particular patterns and black-listed URLs mainly.
In non-techie terms:
As it can be seen, Internet is a dangerous place, which is why computer users should be extremely cautious. Our security experts recommend installing a security tool on the system; however, it would be also clever to ignore advertisements. As can be seen, even though they appear on decent websites, there is still a possibility that they will cause users security-related problems. You should especially not click on ads placed on adult, torrent, and file-sharing websites. If you notice them, you should close them immediately.