It used to be that bad ads were just annoying or silly (Google “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!”), but in the internet age, bad ads can actually cause real trouble. CNET said businesses that depend on web ads to make money, including Google, Facebook, Twitter and AOL, are joining forces to form the Ads Integrity Agency to help protect users from getting malware from clicking on a bad ad.
“Having formal channels for sharing information about specific threats, trends and bad actors can be a valuable weapon,” Maxim Weinstein, executive director of StopBadware and leader of this group, told the news source. “When you have really large scale automated systems and you also have a criminal element that wants to take advantage of that to deliver malware and commit fraud you need to find ways to balance the need for efficiency and automation with the need to protect users from bad ads.”
Eric Davis, global public policy manager at Google, said in an interview with CNET that every ecosystem has parasites, so every organization and website needs to be able to share information and work together to stop those who are trying to illegally feast off of them. He said just last year, there were 130 million ads and 800,000 advertisers that were disabled by Google.
InfoSec Island said companies need to examine flash ads with analysis tools to make sure they contain nothing that will hurt users’ computers, always research advertisers and where they are registered to look for any red flags, and validate the integrity and authenticity of any “company” looking to take out ads. Scammers count on companies getting lazy about these best practices.
Have you ever had to deal with one of these bad ads? What kind of layered security approach do you think can be taken to address this? We want to hear what you think!