Cybercriminals use malvertising to launch spyware on a device that gives personal data into the hacker’s hands. Malicious ads may also force the browser to redirect to spoofed sites that mimic legitimate ones as a method to deceive a user into giving up the login credentials or other information. Hackers might sell the stolen data on the dark web, where other criminals can use it in other fraudulent activities.
If an infected ad introduces ransomware on a computer, the hacker who planted it may execute an extortion attempt. Ransomware is a malicious software that locks a user out of his own files, so that the hacker can turn around and demand a ransom payment before providing access.
A drive-by download is a method where a harmful software is downloaded onto a person’s computer without them interacting with the page. By simply loading the webpage, they succumb to the attack. In the case of malvertising, if a fraudulent ad has infected the page, a user’s device will be infected as soon as they load it.
In a click to download situation, the user must interact with the ad for it to infect their device. These ads are made to mimic legitimate ones to deceive the person who lands on the page and lures them to click.
In 2020, Internet Explorer users were aimed at, in a COVID-19-related malvertising attack. In the midst of great stress and feeling of dread towards the pandemic, cybercriminals changed their malvertising campaigns to include a fake warning notification about COVID-19.
Malvertising is a type of cyberattack that can be challenging to detect and mitigate, but your chances of security are higher assuming you know what to look for. Here’s how you can appropriately prevent a malvertising attack.
Antivirus is the best first line of protection against a variety of online threats that sneak around the web, including malvertising and other forms of malware. With ongoing protection against malvertising downloads or installation attempts, this is perhaps the simplest way you can safeguard your data and devices.
Numerous malvertising attacks depend on exploiting existing software vulnerabilities as a simple way to infect computer systems. When you update your software, you’re ensuring that any security weaknesses are taken care of and not left open to hackers.