Malvertising Attack Targets Daily Mail Website

Another malvertising attack emerges, this time targeting the Daily Mail and it’s ‘sidebar of shame’

Researchers have uncovered yet another malvertising attack, this time targeting readers of the Daily Mail’s popular website.

Malvertising attacks do not infect the websites themselves, but instead use the advertising networks used to serve up commercial content to spread dodgy creatives. Previous attacks of this type have targeted porn sites, dating sites and portals like MSN and Yahoo.

This one was an SSL malvertising campaign conducted through the Microsoft Azure public cloud and made use of the Angler Exploit Kit which has been used in previous campaigns by other criminals.

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Daily Mail Malvertising

Daily MailThe malicious advertisers used real time bidding to win impressions on the network and used Azure to display the dodgy advert. The exploit kit targets vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer and Flash and if a computer is susceptible, it is infected with the CryptoWall ransomware, which encrypts files.

Users don’t even have to click on the dodgy links to be infected, if their system is vulnerable.

“Malvertising has been one of the main infection vectors and continues to affect large publishers and ad networks through very distinct campaigns, very much like a whack-a-mole game,” said Jerome Segura.

“In addition to spreading via compromised websites, Angler EK leverages malvertising thanks to several different threat actors who use clever ways to go undetected as long as possible or are able to quickly adapt and get back on their feet if one of their schemes gets too much attention and is disrupted.

“During the past months we have been working very closely with ad networks, publishers, cloud providers and other companies that have been abused by these attacks. In addition, we hope that well documented cases such as this one help consumers to realize that malvertising is a very dangerous and yet often misunderstood threat. There is no such thing as a safe website anymore and it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure their devices are fully patched and well protected.”

Segura said Malwarebytes had informed the Daily Mail and the MediaMatch advertising network, which had disabled the offending creative.

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