Since internet went live in most parts of the world, cyber criminals have always looked for easy ways to thrive. Even though antivirus and security experts have managed to combat most of the cyber criminals’ intentions, the malware experts have yet again managed to stay ahead by using a new malware distribution method – video ads.
A few weeks ago, a malicious video ad was detected. This served as proof as to just how far cyber criminals are prepared to go in distributing malware. Admittedly, malicious videos are not rare but what made this one unique is the websites which it targeted. Some of these websites attract high traffic and are ranked highly by Alexa.
The malicious video was served up by some 3,000 websites from late October 29th and this continued for a whole 12 hours. A pop-up window with a nickname Tribox was its ID.
This pop-up window carried a warning to the computer user that their browser software such as Apple’s Safari, or Chrome required to be updated. If you happened to follow the instructions, a discreet backdoor was immediately downloaded to your computer.
According to Chris Olson, the co-founder and CEO of The Media Trust, cyber criminals prefer video ads because it is very hard to verify their quality.
Today, video ads are being distributed and delivered using the Digital Video Ad Servicing Template (VAST). This wrapper which has the script likeness of Java has many features such as tracking tags can be loaded into a template and consequently convert it into a delicious digital sandwich.
While the whole process is tedious according to Olson, the creator still manages to include all the necessary codes inside the template and delivering the intended message.