Malvertising is a deceptive process of injecting and spreading malware through otherwise legitimate online advertising networks that display ads on reputable web sites and pages.
A portmanteau of “malicious advertising,” malvertising has become more problematic in recent years, as newer forms of malvertising can infect computers and mobile devices without any action taken on part of the user – in other words, without the user even needing to click on the malware-laden ad.
The Payload and High Costs Associated with Malvertising
Malvertising code can secretly run on your computer, deliver malware payloads, and execute the payload before you or your security software has a chance to identify and prevent it from happening. And malvertising creators have started scanning their products before releasing them into the wild to make sure that they aren’t readily picked up by antivirus software.
The payload of malvertising can range from loading ransomware onto a computer to injecting keystroke-monitoring spyware to any range of activities that interfere with or disrupt the proper functioning of a computer, mobile device or network.
A joint report published in late 2015 by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Ernst & Young has estimated the digital industry loses approximately $1.1 billion a year to malvertising.