Malvertising is quickly becoming a new trend among hackers and other internet criminals A new attack was recently discovered by security experts, even though the campaign had been running for over a year. With several million hits per day, this was one of the most successful malvertising actions to date.Various types of malware, including ransomware, were spread to unsuspecting users during this time.
Another Malvertising Campaign Runs Rampant For Over a Year
It is rather worrisome to find out such a malicious spam campaign can go virtually undetected for quite some time. It was only last week the operation was shut down by the attackers themselves, rather than due to law enforcement or other parties getting involved. Interestingly enough, the campaign made use of steganography to hide information without the data transmitted to potential targets.
At the same time, it is important to note malware developers have been using steganography to hide the real payload for quite some time now. Up until this point, that tactic has not been deployed on such a large scale, though. All it took was getting users to visit a specific landing page, which acts as a redirect to a cloned version of legitimate websites.
Hardly anyone will be surprised to know this malvertising campaign has been used primarily to spread the Neutrino Exploit Kit. Internet criminals have been using this toolset to distribute ransomware, trojans, and other malware to potential targets all over the world. Some of the malware was even region-specific, indicating this was a collaboration between different collectives to infect users worldwide.
Multiple banking trojans were discovered, according to Threatpost. Although a lot of advertising networks were caught up in this wide-scale attack, some of them managed to react upon receiving a notification. Thanks to the hard work of these industry leaders, the network lost some of its potency in the end.
Bringing these malvertising campaigns to a halt at an early stage is not an easy task by any means. Particularly when steganography is involved, the uphill battle becomes even steeper. For now, security researchers are trying to come up with new toolkits to help in this regard, but it will take some time until they are fully developed.
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