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Five Percent of Google’s Visitors Maligned with Ad-Injecting Malware - Study

Techcrunch.com reported on 1st April, 2015 quoting a study conducted by Google with researchers of University of California, Berkeley, (US) as: "5% of individuals visiting Google's websites and services nowadays have browsers with as a minimum one advertisement injecting malicious software installed in it."

Ad injecting malware seems to be relatively benevolent initially as they display an advertisement on your Google search webpage which didn't belong there. That is annoying but doesn't look dangerous. But ad-injection was what Superfish of Lenovo was doing creating many security concerns for patrons. Indeed, the study is based on the examination of hundred million pageviews across Google's sites from Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer, categorized almost one third of these injectors acknowledged as "outright malware".

Given that these types of ad injectors are often packages of genuine software and desktop developers and they make some extra money through downloading of sites with their download wrappers and installers, it becomes easy enough to install one of them unintentionally.

Researchers of Berkeley and Google observed that ad injectors are currently available on all major platforms and browsers.

The research also revealed that out of 5% users, who are having at least one ad injector, one- third of them had four of them running at the same time and half of them were running only two at a time.

Additionally, programs for ad hijacking in the category of malware are distributed through exploits, attachments in malicious email and other infamous methods without involving Web downloads through the browser.

Even if computers are cleaned of extensions of malicious browser, PUPs (Potentially unwanted programs) and malware containing ad fraud, they can get infected with rogue ads. During last week of March 2015, security researchers of security solutions company namely AraLabs based in Canada, warned that an attack changed the DNS (Domain Name System) settings of the routers of the consumer to instill rogue ads into websites when seen on computers behind those devices.

These type of network layer attacks happening outside the computer are almost impossible to be detected by antivirus software, Google, browser or by victims themselves.

» SPAMfighter News - 4/8/2015

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