Huge malvertising attacks on popular websites

You cannot surf the web just like that. Danger awaits literally everywhere.

March 17, 2016
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In recent days, there is something very dangerous happening on some of the very popular websites, e.g., BBC, AOL, New York Times, Weather Network, Newsweek, the Hill or Visitors of these sites had to deal with malicious adverts attempting to install various malware on their computers. Mostly it was connected with ransomware and various Trojans. Number of visitors of these sites which were targeted by this activity ranges up to one billion, so this attack is one of the biggest in recent days.

The trick was not connected with the websites themselves, but with ad networks providing advertisements, e.g. Google, AppNexus, AOL, Rubicon. These ad networks unknowingly distributed malicious ads leading users to sites with an exploit kit. As various analysts found out, the attack was first "tested" on smaller ads publishers with the RIG exploit kit, and after it became big using bigger ads publishing systems and Angler exploit kit. The process was then connected with saddling of the Bedep backdoor malware whose purpose was to enable the downloading of Avrecon Trojan.

The whole campaign took place during the last weekend, and while some of the involved ad networks were able to react almost immediately to reduce chances of this attempt, some of them are still solving it with teams of researchers. Of course, those users using a security product or tool were notified about something strange on their computer and that makes this attack being another proof that having a really efficient protection is very important.

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