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Google - Over 214,000 Individuals Banned for Bad Ads in 2014


Theguardian.com published news on 4th February, 2015 quoting Google's recent announcement as "We have banned more than 214,000 individuals and companies from its online ads network in 2014 because we continue to crack down on bad actors in the web advertising world."

Google disabled more than 524 million bad ads in 2014 and the company says that it has removed 350 million bad promotions during 2013 and the growth in 2014 signifies that this form of malware distribution poses a serious threat to Internauts.

Theguardian.com published a statement on 4th February, 2015 in which Vikaram, Director of Ads Engineering of Google, disclosed some more specific figures from 2014 as "7,000 advertisers were banned from promoting counterfeit goods, 33,000 merchants were banned from its Google Shopping service for bad practices, 250,000 sites were blocked from its network for concealing malware and more than 5,000 advertisers were banned for phishing attempts."

Gupta claimed that this fight is ever growing as bad actors are continuously creating more sophisticated systems and scams.

He gave the example of a series of advertisements which looked like normal ads for rental property as per policies of the company but further investigation showed that it was just a scam and properties advertised did not even exist.

Malware is another unending fight for Google's online promotional business. A widespread "malvertising" attack targeted its DoubleClick subsidiary in September 2014 aiming to deliver malware through ads on websites and Google faced a malvertising attack focused on its AdSense network in January 2015.

The statistics follow warnings of the security society that cybercriminals are leveraging vulnerabilities to spread malware through genuine ad networks and sites.

V3.co.uk published a statement on 4th February, 2015 quoting Bharat Mistry, Cyber Security Consultant of Trend Micro, as saying "the latest wave of Adobe Flash zero-day flaws is an example of type of flaws which can be abused by advertisers."

He added: The (Flash) zero-days can effortlessly be employed for targeted attacks and it is normally done via 'malvertisements' which could be employed as part of a wider watering hole attack to target adventurous users who are visiting a contemporary or news-relevant site particular to their industry vertical or geographical area.

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