Vulnerabilities / Threats
5/18/2010
05:39 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Dasient Helps Publishers Stop Malicious Ads

The start-up's anti-malvertising service promises better tools for dealing with infected ads.

Dasient, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based security start-up, on Tuesday introduced a new service to protect publishers and advertising networks from malicious online ads.

Malicious online advertising, or malvertising, involves the insertion of infected ad files into ad networks. Viewers of the the malicious ads are at risk of having their computers compromised by a drive-by-downloads or of being presented with a fake antivirus scam.

Malvertising compounds the problems of malware -- identity theft, fraud, and loss of privacy -- by damaging the brands of the publishers and ad networks that inadvertently deliver infected ads.

In early 2008, Niels Provos, a security engineer at Google, said in a blog post that about 2% of malicious Web sites were distributing malware through advertising, based on an analysis of about 2,000 known advertising networks.

The problem posed by malvertising was bad enough to prompt Google last summer to launch a search site called Anti-Malvertising.com to help its ad network partners fight malvertising. And Microsoft in September last year filed five lawsuits to halt the distribution of malicious ads through its online ad platform, Microsoft AdManager.

Dasient co-founder Neil Daswani, a former Google engineer, estimates that close to 1.3 million malicious ads are served every day. Such ads tend to persist for about a week before being removed, a result of the tendency of malware creators to release malicious ads over the weekend, when there's often no ad network staff around to field complaints or detect the infected files.

Dasient's answer to the problem, fittingly enough, is called Anti-Malvertising Solution (AMS). The service monitors ad networks for malicious files and automatically notifies ad network partners when malvertisements are detected. It provides a way to block malicious ads immediately and documents the information needed to remove them.

Daswani says that its better for publishers and ad networks to address the problem than to leave it up to Internet users, who might choose to block ads as a security measure.

"Advertising to an extent has funded the generation of content on the Web," he said. "As an industry, it would be disappointing if things got so bad that people shut off ads."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-9651
Published: 2015-08-28
Buffer overflow in CHICKEN 4.9.0.x before 4.9.0.2, 4.9.x before 4.9.1, and before 5.0 allows attackers to have unspecified impact via a positive START argument to the "substring-index[-ci] procedures."

CVE-2015-1171
Published: 2015-08-28
Stack-based buffer overflow in GSM SIM Utility (aka SIM Card Editor) 6.6 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a long entry in a .sms file.

CVE-2015-2987
Published: 2015-08-28
Type74 ED before 4.0 misuses 128-bit ECB encryption for small files, which makes it easier for attackers to obtain plaintext data via differential cryptanalysis of a file with an original length smaller than 128 bits.

CVE-2015-6266
Published: 2015-08-28
The guest portal in Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) 3300 1.2(0.899) does not restrict access to uploaded HTML documents, which allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information from customized documents via a direct request, aka Bug ID CSCuo78045.

CVE-2015-6267
Published: 2015-08-28
Cisco IOS XE before 2.2.3 on ASR 1000 devices allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (Embedded Services Processor crash) via a crafted L2TP packet, aka Bug IDs CSCsw95722 and CSCsw95496.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Another Black Hat is in the books and Dark Reading was there. Join the editors as they share their top stories, biggest lessons, and best conversations from the premier security conference.