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Google Adsense Spreading Malware Via Mobile and Desktop Ads

February 4, 2015 - Written By Kristijan Lucic

Security is a big issue nowadays, even for Google and Android. We’re more and more dependent on our smart devices, computers and as a consequence of all that, the internet. We do our financial transactions virtually and we give out lots of information that way, no wonder that some people are trying to take advantage of that, that’s nothing new. We’ve reported earlier today that a new Android malware has affected million devices. The card game called “Durak” is one of the most popular of the adware-affected apps on the Google Play Store, it has been downloaded 5-10 million times. We’ve already reported on this, but here’s a follow-up for you.

IQ test app is also one of the affected apps, this application has been downloaded between 1 and 5 million times. Russian history app is yet another example, with 10,000-50,000 downloads. It seems like they start displaying advertisements warning about security risks whenever your Android device is unlocked. These ads prompt you to visit malicious websites, download security software which will not help you whatsoever or find new apps from third-party stores. You need to be really careful, even some better-rated apps on the Google Play Store could be affected at this point.

That’s not all though, Google’s advertising platform AdSense has had a massive malware issue going around since December. Google has known about the malware since December and still hasn’t done anything about it.The exploit has grown and more malware has popped up on AdSense via mobile and desktop and no website is safe as these malware ads have affected some of largest and smallest websites from minor apps to the most popular apps.

Malware via ads is a serious issue, It’s hard to track down due to ad targeting and normal anti-virus software does little to detect it because the ad scripts loads normally behind the scenes. Ad targeting has different people seeing different ads at different times on different devices and can make tracking down or seeing the issue very hard due to its randomness. Users are being randomly redirected to pages without their knowledge and are asked to install various software that is the actual malware.

This issue could evolve significantly if Google doesn’t react fast and kill it off before it spreads even further and put in the proper detection measures so other hackers don’t try and emulate the same exploit in the AdSense software, at the time of this article no solution or official comment has come from Google or its support forums.

We’ll make sure to keep you updated on this subject, we’ll report back as soon as we get more information regarding all this, so stay tuned and be careful while using your Android device or desktop devices, don’t visit any fishy websites and avoid downloading software you’re not familiar with. I hope that Google will resolve these issues as soon as possible.