Vulnerabilities / Threats
9/17/2009
07:50 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Microsoft Files Five Lawsuits To Halt Malicious Advertising

In an effort to protect Windows users, Microsoft is suing unidentified scammers for distributing malware through online ads.

Microsoft on Tuesday filed five civil lawsuits in Seattle's King County Superior Court to combat malicious online advertising, or malvertising.

The lawsuits allege that an unknown number of individuals using various business names distributed malicious software through Microsoft AdManager, the company's online advertising platform.

"These ads then lead to harmful or deceptive content," said Microsoft associate general counsel Tim Cranton, in a blog post. "For example, ads may redirect users to a Web site that advertises rogue security software, also known as scareware, that falsely claims to detect or prevent threats on the computer."

Cranton says that malicious ads can also infect vulnerable computers with Trojan software, which can steal data, hinder operation, or turn computers into zombies, or bots.

Click Forensics, a company that tracks click fraud, on Thursday said that it had discovered a 200,000 computer botnet -- a group of compromised computers harnessed to work in unison -- linked to the Microsoft lawsuits. In a blog post, Steve O'Brien, VP of sales and marketing at Click Forensics called it "one of the most advanced sources of click fraud we've seen."

The botnet, known as the "Bahama botnet" because it at one time directed online traffic through computers in the Bahamas, is believed to be linked to the malicious advertising that appeared on the New York Times Web site several days ago, according to O'Brien.

Although O'Brien suggests that the cyber crime group believed to be responsible is located in Ukraine, Richard Boscovich, senior attorney at Microsoft for Internet safety enforcement, said in a phone interview that it's not clear where the people responsible are located.

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.

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
Security Operations and IT Operations: Finding the Path to Collaboration
A wide gulf has emerged between SOC and NOC teams that's keeping both of them from assuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of IT systems. Here's how experts think it should be bridged.
Flash Poll
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
The transition from DevOps to SecDevOps is combining with the move toward cloud computing to create new challenges - and new opportunities - for the information security team. Download this report, to learn about the new best practices for secure application development.
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
In past years, security researchers have discovered ways to hack cars, medical devices, automated teller machines, and many other targets. Dark Reading Executive Editor Kelly Jackson Higgins hosts researcher Samy Kamkar and Levi Gundert, vice president of threat intelligence at Recorded Future, to discuss some of 2016's most unusual and creative hacks by white hats, and what these new vulnerabilities might mean for the coming year.