News for December 31, 2022

Advertising Directing to Malware
by Artie Kaye

A campaign that originally targeted software pirates has evolved to attack people seeking legitimate programs. Subverting Google Ads with harmless websites that function to redirect, users are tricked into visiting a seemingly valid place to download software.  These appear as ads in search results. Some of the programs include Zoom, Slack, Malwarebytes, and Dashlane. Observed types of malware in this campaign include crypto mining and information-stealing programs.

When searching for software to install, it is advisable to avoid advertisements and seek the home page for the desired software. Double check the website you are on.  Everything might look correct in page layout, but if the URL looks strange be cautious.  Using another search engine can help you distinguish if it is the official site. Always scan any files downloaded before running or installing, and if you are in doubt, contact your support.