Malware spotlight: Malvertising

Introduction: The impact of malicious ads

One of the most deceptive ways cybercriminals use to distribute malicious software (malware) is malvertising. This is delivered through booby-trapped advertisements onto the computers and mobile devices of users that visit legitimate webpages and can infect many people quickly.

As more and more people use the internet to advertise, cybercriminals have taken advantage of the ad industry. The concept is simple: taking advantage of empty ad slots, hackers can infect unaware users who are visiting a normal and safe internet page and trusting the advertisements on it. In reality, after clicking on the links found on the page or even just after loading the webpage, infections can spread and catch users off guard.

The best way to prevent this from happening is to know how malvertising works and learn key defense strategies that can counter it. This requires some user awareness of what suspicious ads on websites might look like and being conscious of redirects to unfamiliar webpages that bring the victim to load the attacker’s site.

What is malvertising?

Malvertising (a combination of the words “malware” and “advertising”) uses a technique which allows cybercriminals to access personal and/or corporate data by disguising their attack as a legitimate item within a webpage. This digital threat uses online ads to infect computers with malware or adware, either by luring users to click on a pop-up window or through a forced browser redirect to a landing page which might contain malicious code. Malvertising is dangerous, as it can be deployed even without clicking on a link.

According to a report published by Bromium, a startup based in California that works with virtualization technology and threat isolation to prevent data breaches, more than 50 percent of malvertising is unknowingly hosted on those types of websites that, given (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Infosec Resources authored by Daniel Brecht. Read the original post at: