Cybercrooks Using Malicious Video Advertisements to Plant Malware

Posted on November 13, 2015 by .

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Hackers and cybercrooks are busier than ever, and they won’t back down at anything that gets in their way of spreading their malicious creations. In an effort to more effectively spread malware, cybercrooks are taking their distribution methods to video advertisements.

What is technically known as a method of malvertising, is a process of spreading malware through advertisements, which has been around for many years. Among various ad networks cybercrooks are able to inject their malicious ads that cause redirects to malicious sites that offer or initiate the download of malware.

In the latest schemes of spreading malware through malvertising, cybercrooks are aggressively using video ads as a means of spreading malware. The video ads that hackers target are ones distributed through ads served on high-traffic sites.

What is happening in these cases is that cybercrooks grant themselves access to various ad networks where they must purchase ad space for running the more-expensive video ads. Once access is granted they misleadingly serve up ads that should not be approved by they are sneaky in their approach as to not alert the ad network serving the ads.

Currently, it is very difficult to estimate how many malicious video ads are running on any giving website, even if it is a high-traffic site well-known to internet surfers.

Companies are starting to serve more and more video ads and publishers that monetize those video ads should pay close attention to each network channel that serves up third party coding for those ads. Where there is third party ad coding involved, there is a likelihood of cybercrooks taking advantage of the ad servicing and delivering malicious ads.

As far as avoiding malicious video ads, there is no sure way. The only thing end users can do is to take proactive steps in running antivirus and/or antimalware software to detect and eliminate malicious threats when they occur. Other things computer users can do is to avoid visiting questionable sites or ones that display advertisements that seem out of the ordinary or offer something that is just too good to be true.

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