Number of Ads Delivering Malware Soars

Vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash are behind the rapidly increasing number of online ads packed with malware.–PC Pitstop.

Number of Ads Delivering Malware Soars

by Josh Kirschner for Techlicious

The number of advertisements designed to deliver malware has tripled in the last year, a new report from security company Cyphort reveals. And it seems like newly exploited security holes in the Adobe Flash plug-in are likely responsible.

Advertising malware is typically delivered via third-party ad networks. A hacker will purchase space and upload an innocent-seeming advertisement, intending it to be served on multiple websites. But when someone clicks the ad or hovers over it, the hacker uses security vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash to install malware on your machine. It’s a nasty trick, and it often triggers through no fault of your own.

To measure the problem of advertising-delivered malware, Cyphort visited the 100,000 most-visited domains on the net and counted how many served up infected advertisments. This February, 407 (0.4%) of these domains were serving up malicious ads via Flash. In one case, researchers discovered malware being delivered via the Yahoo ad network; in another, infected ads were found on popular dating site PlentyOfFish.com.

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