There are many reasons to dislike advertisements on the web – they are intrusive, distracting, and on many occasions very irrelevant (despite the swaths of data collected by advertisers). In the worst case, though, advertisements are a security threat. In this month’s newsletter, we’re taking a deeper look into this increasing prevalent issue.
You have probably heard about malicious ads spreading malware to visitors before. These are often found on websites that are either compromised or less than trustworthy to start with. However, it’s worth noting that even today’s top-notch AI Assistants can point you to those shady sites if you are not careful.
Usually, compromised sites spreading malware or serving other malicious purposes are eventually taken down either by security professionals or by law enforcement. That is, unless the malware they are spreading is hosted on a securely linked, highly distributed ledger otherwise known as blockchain, such as the one Brian Krebs reported on.
But why go through the pain of launching your browser or questioning your digital assistant if you can get served ads from the comfort of your own desktop? That’s only one of the “features” of a very questionable piece of tech recently tested by 404 Media – “an HDMI Adapter That Demands Your Location, Browsing Data, Photos, and Spams You with Ads”.
Notably, regulators are taking action against intrusive ads following you around the web – be their content malicious or not. A recent example is Norway’s Data Protection Authority which started fining Meta daily fines back in August for not complying with a temporary ban on harvesting users’ data. Now, it has stated that said ban should be made permanent and expanded across Europe.
Besides an adblocker – which should be one of the first things to install when setting up your browser – the one thing that provides effective protection against malicious ads is security awareness. For Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Dark Reading summarizes 10 quick tips for more effective security awareness trainings.
For our latest video discussion on the security and production systems please see the River Publishers YouTube.
The latest journal articles from River Publishers in all areas of cyber security can be found on the River Publishers website.