What is Malvertising? And 3 Ways to Reduce the Risk of Malvertising

What is Malvertising

What is Malvertising?

Here is the definition of What is Malvertising? from the first Happily Ever Cyber! book:

The word Malvertising is a combination of Malware and Advertising. It refers to the practice of infecting ads in websites to spread malware to your computer or mobile devices. Malvertising could appear as abrupt alerts, tickling offers, banners, or pop-up ads.

The combination of malware and advertising is very real! Cybermonsters can buy ad space on trustworthy websites. And these ads will appear legitimate to us. But they have hidden code that could redirect you to a malicious website. Or simply install malware on your computer or devices instantly.

Malvertising definition

Malvertising is a type of cyber-attack in which malicious code is embedded into online advertising. This can include banner ads, pop-up ads, and video ads. The goal of malvertising is to redirect users to a malicious website or to install malware on their device. The attackers can use various techniques to spread the malvertising. Including using legitimate advertising networks or by buying ad space directly from a website. The malvertising can also be spread through malvertising-as-a-service (Maas) providers. Which make it easier for the attackers to launch malvertising campaigns. The malvertising can be very hard to detect. And it can easily spread through legitimate websites that have no knowledge of the malicious code.

3 Ways To Reduce The Risk of Malvertising

What can we do to protect ourselves?

Here are 3 simple ways you can reduce the chances of becoming a victim of malvertising:

•          No busques lo que no se te ha perdido – Don’t look for something you haven’t lost… My mom used to say this phrase to me all the time. This means – don’t go searching for things you know you shouldn’t be searching for online! Searching how to jailbreak your phone. How to bypass a particular practice. Looking for inappropriate content and so on increases risk online. Those are the first places malware will be waiting for you. And even if you hover on an image, your computer can get infected!

•          Use for special occasions only! As a kid I had only one dress that I wore for special occasions. When I was invited to a party. when we went to church. Or, when we went to visit someone. I would wear this yellow dress, embroidered with flowers and butterflies. And I loved that dress so much. I felt I could do anything when I was wearing it. So, I cared for it and never played or did any chores in the house while wearing my dress.
Two Accounts: –Your computer has an administrator account which is the most powerful account you have access to. You can do anything with it, so instead of using it for daily activities, like checking your email or surfing the web, create a secondary account that is a regular user account. In the same way I cared for my yellow dress, you need to care for your administrator account and use it for special occasions only – like installing software or updating your computer. If you happen to visit a page with malvertising on a regular user account, the software won’t install, as it won’t have the access.

•          Always Be Intentional!Clicking on ads that appear on your browser without a reason, boredom or simply because you can, could create an easily avoidable nightmare! Visit official websites if you are really interested in buying a product or service, don’t click on the advertisement.

People also ask.

1. How to stop malvertising ?

Here are a few ways to stop malvertising:

  • Use an ad blocker: Ad blockers can help to prevent malvertising by blocking ads on websites, including malicious ads.
  • Keep your software and operating system up to date: Make sure your software and operating system are up to date with the latest security patches, as these updates often include protection against known malvertising threats.
  • Be cautious when clicking on ads: Be careful when clicking on ads, especially on a website that you are not familiar with. If an ad looks suspicious, do not click on it.
  • Use anti-virus and anti-malware software: Use anti-virus and anti-malware software that can detect and block malware, including malvertising.
  • Avoid clicking on pop-up ads: Pop-up ads can be used to spread malvertising, so avoid clicking on them. If a pop-up appears unexpectedly on your screen, close it immediately.
  • Use a VPN: A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can encrypt your internet connection and prevent malvertising from targeting your device.
  • Use browser extensions: Some browser extensions, such as NoScript,can block malicious scripts from running on a website, which can help prevent malvertising.
  • Be aware of the website you visit: Be aware of the websites you visit, especially the ones with low reputation or the ones that you think might be unsafe.
    Keep in mind that sophisticated malvertising can be hard to detect. By following these steps, you can reduce the risk of falling victim to malvertising, but it’s not a guarantee. The best way to protect yourself is to be vigilant and cautious when browsing the web.

2. What is malvertising attack?

A malvertising attack is a cyber attack in which malicious code is embedded into online advertising. This can include banner ads, pop-up ads, and video ads. The goal of a malvertising attack is to redirect users to a malicious website or to install malware on their device. The attackers use various techniques to spread the malvertising, such as using legitimate advertising networks or by buying ad space directly from a website.
The malicious ads can be very hard to detect, and they can easily spread through legitimate websites that have no knowledge of the malicious code. The users can be redirected to a phishing website, a website that downloads malware or a website that tries to steal personal information. The attackers can also use the malvertising as a way to spread ransomware or to gain access to sensitive information. It is important to have a good anti-malware software and to be cautious when clicking on ads, especially on a website that you are not familiar with.

3. How does malvertising work?

Malvertising is a type of cyber-attack that works in several steps:

  • The attacker embeds malicious code into online advertising such as banner ads, pop-up ads, and video ads.
  • The attacker uses various techniques to spread the malvertising, such as using legitimate advertising networks, buying ad space directly from a website, or using malvertising-as-a-service (Maas) providers.
  • The user clicks on the malicious ad, which redirects them to a malicious website.
  • The malicious website can then download malware onto the user’s device, steal personal information, or redirect the user to a phishing website.
  • The attacker can also use exploit kits, pre-configured software packages that allow them to identify vulnerabilities on a user’s device and exploit them.
  • The attacker can also use drive-by downloads, a way to download malware on a user’s device without the user’s knowledge.
  • The attacker can also use social engineering tactics, such as using a fake update, a fake error message, or a fake offer to trick the user into clicking on the malicious ad.
    The attacker can use the malvertising as a way to spread ransomware or gain access to sensitive information.

How do you protect yourself from malvertising? I am excited to hear from you in the comments below!

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Sandra Estok, CEO and Founder of Way2Protect | Happily Ever Cyber!

Sandra Estok

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