Authentic8 Blog Category: Zero Trust Browser

October Is Malvertising Awareness Month

Large-scale malvertising campaigns have pushed more than a billion malware and spam-laden ads through online advertising networks onto "secure" web browsers. Ad-blocking software fails to stem the tide.

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In case you were wondering - yes, you're right: October's official designation still is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. For bystanders, web publishers, and the victims of malicious ads, though, it turned into unofficial "Malvertising Awareness Month" rather quickly.

That's because news broke that cyber criminals had hit major browsers (Chromium/Chrome, Safari, Opera, Edge) with a broadscale malvertising campaign. Dubbed eGobbler by threat hunters, it generated more than a billion malicious advertising ad impressions over the past months.

The Mechanics: How Does Malvertising Work?

The not-so-secret sauce of malvertising campaigns is that they piggyback on legitimate online advertising networks and popular websites to push malware, such as ransomware exploit kits, onto millions of unsuspecting targets at once.

The malicious code then gets downloaded and executed by the web browser on the victim's computer. Game over.

Do You Have What It Takes to Prevent Ransomware?

Malicious software has nearly always been a factor to consider when it comes to managing the IT environment. Have we learned the right lessons?

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I remember going on calls to a credit card company early in my career, as a then-time field engineer, to diagnose issues that had cropped up on several Dell PCs.

Back in 1991, these were basic PCs with floppy drive systems and 10MB hard disk drives - state-of-the-art desktops at the time, monochrome screens and all.

After some analysis, we concluded that the systems were infected with a virus, a rare occurrence at the time. The Michelangelo virus was just days away from executing, and our options to remove it were limited.

Only two vendors existed to clean malware, and the software had to be downloaded using a 1200 baud modem from a bulletin board. Usually, one vendor or the other would detect and remove the small number of malware samples in the wild at the time. Thankfully,