Hundreds of thousands of Yahoo users in European countries including the UK, France and Romania may have been infected with malware injected into advertising hosted on Yahoo websites.
Dutch company Fox-IT made the discovery at the end of last week, saying users who visited Yahoo would be confronted with advertisements that would direct them to external sites hosting malware that exploits Java security flaws.
The ads were served in iframes by Yahoo’s advertising service, and were hosted on external sites. Upon clicking the advertisements, users would be redirected to a selection of other domains, all reporting the same Netherlands-based IP address.
The malware users were faced with include money-grabbing Zeus Trojan, botnet software Andromeda and other malware associated with advertising.
Fox-IT estimates that the traffic to the malware hosts was around 300,000 visits per hour. On the assumption that nine percent of those users would ultimately be infected, the firm says around 27,000 infections could have occurred every hour over the four days the adverts were present.
Yahoo confirmed the news in a statement shared with V3: “From 31 December to 3 January on our European sites, we served some advertisements that did not meet our editorial guidelines – specifically, they spread malware. On January 3, we removed these advertisements from our European sites.”
The statement added that users in other regions and those using Apple’s Mac OS and mobile devices were not affected. “We will continue to monitor and block any advertisements being used for this activity. We will post more information for our users shortly.”
The attack bore a resemblance to the one carried out on the PHP.net website, Fox-IT said. In recent months, popular services including Dropbox and Microsoft Silverlight have found themselves under attack, highlighting the risk businesses face when allowing employees to use personal service on their work devices, or allowing them to bring personal devices into work.
This article was originally published on V3.
Advertisers are more concerned than ever about brand safety, and one of the primary ways they're trying to keep their ads from appearing in unfriendly places is through whitelisting. But as more and more brands turn to whitelisting, some are talking about the impact this will have.
We all know that Facebook is a viable source of huge amounts of mobile traffic with relatively cheap CPCs). It’s too good an opportunity to ignore in today’s digital landscape - even if your mobile landing-page experience isn’t up to snuff.
For years, advertisers have tolerated a big elephant in the room: the fact that their digital ads aren't always appearing where they would want them to.
Deep learning tools are the next major area of AI-based research, and it will spark a wave of future innovation in every industry – bringing a new era of marketing which both advertisers and end-users will benefit from.