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Online Ads – New Virus Spreading Tools for Hackers

Web ads, unintentionally, have become a powerful tool in the hands of hackers for spreading viruses. Cyber criminals have started misusing the security flaws in the online ad chain to inculcate viruses into advertisements. Only accessing the site, which displays such ads, can infect the PC of a user.

Recently, a computer virus in the advertisement on tomshadware.com has been discovered which automatically takes the users to a website which installs malware. ScanSafe Inc. was among the first computer security companies to uncover the virus and it has estimated that the ad was displayed on the site for around one whole day and has exploited 50,000-100,000 PCs.

Viewing the ads, which come in the results segment of sponsored link of search engines can proves to be harmful too. In a report in May 2007, McAfee Inc., a Web-security firm, discovered 6.9% of sponsored links take to suspicious Websites which might have installed malware.

As per the news by Statesman on July 23, 2007, vice president of revenue operations at CNET Networks Inc., Zack Rogers, said that the success of online ads solely depends on the prohibition of viruses through the wall. They all have to improve and get better.

As the marketers have to work with a number of companies when they display an online ad (one to sell the ad, one to check its display, one to save the information of users who visit), there arise many chances for hackers to interfere in one of these activities.

Chief privacy officer at social networking site Facebook, Chris Kelly, said that this is a multiple layer problem and people at various layers must figure out something to make it more secure and safe, as per the news by Statesman on July 23, 2007.

From many years, Internet has been surrounded by spyware, viruses and other harmful software. Earlier, though, the users had to open the malicious attachment, which comes with the mail, and install free software (which contained a deadly code). Virus-filled ads are more harmful because it can easily install virus, just by visiting the Website containing the malicious ad.

Related article: Online Card Fraud Shows Greater Tendency Than Chip and Pin

» SPAMfighter News - 7/31/2007

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