Malvertising (also known as malicious advertising) is not a new thing and it is being used to so spread malware online. In other words, malvertising seeds a malicious code into online advertising networks and webpages. The worst part, no one suspect that they got infected with malware when they visit their favorite, trusted websites. You don’t even really need to click on anything, it’s enough to enter a website.
It’s quite suprising, that in 2016 we saw a dramatic rise in the number of online adverts containing malware, according to digital threat management company, RiskIQ. In total, there was a 132.6% rise in ‘malvertising’ compared with 2015. That is massive rise in quite a short period of one year. Delivered through ad networks such as Google and Facebook, threat actors use malvertising to propagate malware, ransomware, and scams (disingenuous advertising), as well as redirect victims to phishing pages and pages hosting exploit kits.
James Pleger, threat researcher at RiskIQ, said: “Malvertising is so nefarious because it’s a direct attack on the lifeblood of the internet as we know it. Digital media marketing is what funds the ‘free’ websites we all know and enjoy online. The success of the internet and all the people that rely on it is inextricably linked to online advertising success and safety.
“Publishers, ad platforms, and ad operations teams need active visibility, forensic information, and mitigation capability to enable them to effectively detect and respond to malicious ads in the wild.”
The research also showed a 1,978% increase in redirections to phishing pages, an 845% rise in scam detections,a 22% jump in antivirus binary injections, 25.8% increase in malicious distribution systems and 58% rise in scareware and browser lockers.
According to a report compiled by eMarketer, the worldwide paid media market, which accelerates every year, recently hit more than half a trillion dollars, and worldwide paid media spending is expected to reach $674 billion by 2020.
“Malvertising threatens this online marketing growth,” James said. “For example, users wary of malvertising will block all ads, hampering the success of the digital advertising industry. By the end of 2017, 14.7 million people in the UK will be using ad blocking software*.”
Ade Camilleri is a leading Internet marketer and Data Marketing Analyst for some of the worlds leading Comapnies with a focus on Tourism, Public Companies, Government Organmisatioons and iGaming. He forms part of the Media Plan group of Copmpanies who provide Digital Marketing Services for iGaming, Tourtism and Fortune 500 Companies.