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BizReport : Advertising archives : March 18, 2010

Avast identifies malvertising strain

And, from the I-Didn't-Want-To-Hear-This section: there is a new malvertising strain which can infect consumer computers even if they don't click the infected link. Avast Antivirus identified the 'JS:Prontexti' malware straing this week; the virus is infecting display ads served by publishers and ad services including Google, Yahoo and Fox.

by Kristina Knight

avast.pngAccording to the report the virus has a JavaScript code which enables malware to attack the computer through actual display ads.

"The malware usually spreads through web infection placed on innocent, badly secured websites. The ad infiltration method is growing in popularity alongside with the website infections. Now we are facing probably the biggest ad poisoning ever made - all important ad services are affected. It means that users might get infected just by reading their favorite newspaper or by doing search on famous web indexers," writes Jiri Sejtko on the Avast blog.

Meanwhile, MessageLabs has identified the most used words or phrases used in email spam. Some of the most popular are words you'd expect - like today! or here! - but the more malicious spammers are using more sophisticated word choices in hopes that consumers will believe the email is legitimate.

"The popular words are fairly generic but all seem to be geared towards encouraging an immediate reaction, trying to get some sense of urgency. This is further indicated by the fact that 5 of the top 6 words have an exclamation mark. Spammers like to create a sense of urgency in their messages, as the less time someone spends thinking about it, the less likely they are to realise it is in fact a scam of some type," writes Matthew Nisbet on the MessageLabs blog.

The Cutwail bot, especially, is sending out sophisticated messages with the intent of delivering malware.

Tags: Avast, display ads, email marketing, malvertising, malware, MessageLabs, spam

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