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Malvertising: Harmful advertising

Malvertising: Harmful advertising
| Editorial Staff

Advertising on the Internet is not only annoying, slows down the page layout and increases the data volume: Sometimes banners and pop-ups even cause real dangers – exactly when so-called malvertising attacks are used.

In the childhood days of the Internet, publishers put content for which they had previously demanded good money at the kiosk onto the Web free of charge. The users liked it – and quickly got used to the free culture. To pay for online articles is still out of the question for most of them. In order to earn money, the side operator remains to this day therefore in principle only one means: Advertising. Everyone should therefore show respect for some advertising. However, many pages exaggerate excessively: the actual content disappears because of loud banners, often unasked to start videos or advertisements do not want to disappear. But Internet advertising is not only annoying, it can also be very dangerous.

Annoying and Dangerous!

Because often the advertisements do not come directly from the server of the site operator, but from completely different sources. Accordingly, they are not subject to the editorial control of the website operator. Cyber criminals take advantage of this fact and incorporate pests into their advertising, which they distribute via well-known news sites. The computer is usually already infected, even if you do not click on the advertisement at all. In this case, the term “malvertising” (a cross between malicious and advertising) is a malicious method of installing malware on the computer. Users who use outdated operating systems and browsers are particularly vulnerable to such attacks. Mean: The contaminated displays are not visually discernible, they look just like any other. Two scenarios are possible:

  • Due to a security hole in the browser, the malware contained in the advertising often comes directly to the computer when the page is built up. These can be keyloggers, botnet viruses or ransomware or any other type of malware.
  • There is also the variant in which the surfer actively clicks on an online advertisement and is either a) redirected to an infected website or b) downloads a pest that disguises itself as a game or program, for example, but is a so-called Trojan.

Rapid Dissemination Through Advertisements

But why do cybercriminals choose ads to spread malware? The answer is simple, it is an extremely effective method. If the crooks manage to get the contaminated advertising onto a popular website, for example, thousands or even tens of thousands of infections per day are easily possible. With each page visit, the probability of a successful attack increases. In concrete terms, such a malvertising attack usually proceeds as follows: The crooks initially book a few inconspicuous ads on advertising networks and ad exchanges, i.e. advertising marketers for websites, and thus ensure a good reputation with the marketer. The dissemination of harmful advertising will only take place later. Of course, the advertisement will be removed immediately if the attack is detected. However, this can take time if the advertising service does not consistently sort out contaminated ads. In many cases, even security researchers or the media discover the advertising attacks first.

There are many virus protection solutions, eBlocker is one of them but helping block malware hidden in website ads.  These ads can have hidden code inside the ad, eBlocker stops ads and trackers, therefore helping prevent this malware attacks.

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Blocking Malware and Protects Your Family

Anyone who actually wants to block malware on every Internet-compatible device in the household faces an almost impossible mammoth task.  Plug-ins or VPN programs, for example, do not work on smart TVs, game consoles or IoT devices (IoT = Internet of Things) and their too complicated for your younger kids to use.  The eBlocker makes it much easier.

Connected to the home network, the little box anonymizes the online behavior of your family on all Internet-enabled devices in the system. In addition to the computer, it also protects tablets, smart TVs, game consoles and IoT devices, for which there are hardly any other options for privacy protection.

In addition, the eBlocker reliably blocks malware, trackers and data-collecting advertising.  Thanks to this combination, the eBlocker offers protection for the whole family – without software installation.

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