09 Nov 2011

Ads with viruses hurt industry, security intelligence firm says

RiskIQ, a security intelligence firm, said at the recent Online Trust Alliance conference that the online advertising industry could be hurt by malicious software spreading through commercial advertisements, according to USA Today. Websites should take greater internet security measures to make sure the viruses do not harm users' computers.

"Malvertisements are a popular and extremely effective mechanism that take advantage of weaknesses within web browsers," says Vincent Liu, managing partner of security consultancy Stach & Liu, according to the news source. "The average home computer user faces a high risk of being attacked by malvertisements."

RiskIQ documented 14,694 malware advertisements up to May 2011, a dramatic increase from 1,533 at the same point last year. Each ad could seriously effect a user's PC depending on how long it was on the screen, RiskIQ CEO Elias Manousos said.

In 2009 that The New York Times website was a victim of malware advertisements, Mashable said. Fox News, the Register and the San Francisco Chronicle were also attacked.