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Beware malware online ads served via DoubleClick platform

Malware attack

It was only a matter of time…

Via /.

The worst-case scenario used to be that online ads are pesky, memory-draining distractions. But a new batch of banner ads is much more sinister: They hijack personal computers and bully users until they agree to buy antivirus software. And the ads do their dirty work even if you don’t click on them.The malware-spiked ads have been spotted on various legitimate websites, ranging from the British magazine The Economist to baseball’s MLB.com to the Canada.com news portal. Hackers are using deceptive practices and tricky Flash programming to get their ads onto legitimate sites by way of DoubleClick’s DART program. Web publishers use the DoubleClick-hosted platform to manage advertising inventory.”

Is this DoubleClick (or Google’s – the parent company) fault for accepting the ads with the malicious code (my opinion is: yes to both Google and DoubleClick)? The website’s for accepting questionable ads on their property? Our ad-based, get it live now, society?

If you were doing public relations for DoubleClick or the online destinations, what would you advise your client?

It also appears that, based on some of the comments on the post, ad-blocking software is not fool-proof against this type of attack.

btw – all comments are set to go to moderation now… been under heavy spammer attack recently. Apologies to legit folks, I’ll try and approve as soon as I can!

[photo credit: KOoLiNus via Flickr]

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