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Major Ad Networks Found Serving Malicious Ads

Dec 13, 2010, 22:35 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dennis Fisher)

"Two major online ad networks--DoubleClick and MSN--were serving malware via drive-by download exploits over the last week, experts say, after a group of attackers was able to trick the networks into displaying their ads by impersonating an online advertising provider.

"The scheme involved a group of attackers who registered a domain that was one letter away from that of ADShuffle.com, an online advertising technology firm. The attackers then used the fake domain--ADShufffle.com--to dupe the advertising networks into serving their malicious banner ads. The ads used various exploits to install malware on victims' PCs through drive-by downloads, according to information compiled by security vendor Armorize.

"The ad networks only served the malicious content for a short period of time, but the episode shows just how difficult the drive-by download problem can be to address."

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