Mobile Malvertising on the Rise
by Bitdefender Security Specialists, on 13 August 2014
As the tech market trends show, the use of mobile devices continues to grow, and so do the mobile security threats. And since mobile devices are always on and carried from home, to work, on the weekend outing, to the annual or monthly shopping spree and everywhere else, they’ve become a prime target for ‘malvertising’.
What is Malvertising?
Malvertising (Malicious Advertising) attacks involve the use of online advertising channels to infiltrate malware into the computers of unsuspecting users by embedding malicious code within legitimate advertisements on trusted websites.
How does it work?
Malvertisements are commonly placed on a website in one of these ways:
In the recent past, sites that host adult content were known as the main vector of infection for mobile devices, but the new primary vector of mobile infection emerging in 2013 was ‘malvertising’ distributed via Web Ads. The key factor contributing to malvertising outpacing adult content sites as the newest way to infect one’s mobile device is simply traffic, as it should come as no surprise that mobile advertising targets a far broader audience than does porn.
In February 2014, web ads represented the single biggest threat vector for mobile users. Moreover, every one in five times a person that went online from their smartphone was redirected to a malware site because of a malicious mobile ad, according to a March 2014 report released by Blue Coat, which discovered a threefold jump from two years ago. That is almost triple the rate in November 2012.
So what’s the reason behind this shift? Like with PCs decades ago, there simply isn’t the awareness among mobile users that something that pops up during browsing or while they’re playing their favorite mobile game could potentially lead to trouble. And this makes malvertising the perfect vector for malicious content.
Recommended Best Practices:
Be sure to contact us for more insights into protecting employee mobility using cutting-edge security technologies.