06 Jun 2011

Hackers utilize sophisticated attack

Computer users who click on internet ads are being targeted by cyber criminals with an attack called ad hijacking. According to a recent report by an internet security company, ad hijacking is a sophisticated fraud scheme that targets search advertisements, online video and display.

The cyber criminals behind the attacks create a network of computers that affects publishers, online advertisers and ad networks. Rather than prompt computer users to download fake antivirus software, the malware embeds itself through an ad or if a browser visits a certain site, the report stated.

Once the malware is installed, a host computer relays instructions to the infected computer to perform different types of fraud, including for ads, video and display ads.

"In the past, advertising fraudsters have mainly set their sights on the search advertising industry," said Paul Pellman, CEO of the internet security company. "This is the first attack we’ve seen that coordinates advertising fraud across many different online ad channels."

Malware continues to wreak havoc for computer users. According to an internet security report, 73,000 variants of malware were released on a daily basis last month in April, increasing 26 percent from the previous year.