Yahoo Ads Malware Found to Evade Infection of US Users, Mac systems and Mobile Users

Posted on January 09, 2014 by .

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Yahoo has had many of its advertisements compromised in a malware attack where users clicking on the ads were served up a malware cocktail. As it turns out, users located in the United States and those using Macs or Mobile devices were not affected by this malware campaign using compromised Yahoo ads.

Fox-IT, a security company in the Netherlands, made the discovery of computer users visiting Yahoo sites would be served malicious advertisements. The ads were iFrames hosted on five different domains. Yahoo promptly removed the ads after finding out about the attack but not in time to prevent upwards of 27,000 computers every hour during the running of the malware ads from being infected.

It turns out, well after the malware has run its course, that computer users located in the United States and those around the world specifically using Mac computers or mobile devices were not affected. It seems that the particular ads that were laced with malware utilized geo-targeting and system-targeting setups. This means that only a specific type of system and system location were served with the malicious advertisements.

Commonly geo-targeting and system targeting functions and settings are used in serving of ads from various networks. These settings in the Yahoo malware attack were mostly targeting systems located in Romania, the UK and France. Still, it is unclear which countries received the brunt of the attack. But it still will account for 10′s of thousands of computers.

Yahoo exclaimed that the malware attack took place and spread on its European sites from December 31, 2013 till January 3, 2014. Experts suspect that is enough time to have infected a large number of computers with unknown malware infections.

It is in a computer user’s best interest to stay on top of updating their software and running security software to help combat attacks like this.

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