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January 17th, 2008, 03:55 AM #1Malicious Banner Ads are a real threat to publishers and merchants
I posted a a couple of months ago about Flash banner ads being hijacked by malware. Banner ads for legitimate companies have been compromised, and these have been turning up on some really big name sites.
This is a new problem and a big one - basically the parasites have realised that banner ads and campaigns are sold, repackaged, resold and it isn't always clear who is behind it. Here's the thing.. you don't want to get sued and I can see all sorts of nasty legal liabilities going on here.
Publishers - if you're running rich media ads (i.e. Flash) then understand that you may well be targetted. Sandi Hardmeier's Spyware Sucks blog has this excellent posting about the basic steps to protect yourself. Just don't accept any advertising without checking - make sure that you're dealing with a real company. Avoid using ad brokers if you can and deal directly with the affiliate network or merchant.
Ad brokers - this is the biggest problem area. Brokers need to be much more careful about checking who they are dealing with, or it *will* kill the brokerage business. I know a lot of ABWers would think this is a good thing.
Merchants - the bad guys are running banner ads advertising YOUR brand but that redirect visitors to malware sites. You need to keep your advertising tightly under control, be VERY careful about who you subcontract to make banners and keep an eye out for unauthorised Flash banners that you don't know anything about.
As I mentioned before, Sandi Hardmeier seems to have the best information on these malicious banner ads. If you make a living through banner ads, then I would definitely recommend putting her blog in your RSS reader so that you can avoid a real nightmare.
January 17th, 2008, 09:02 AM #2
January 17th, 2008, 09:44 AM #3
Ran into one of these just a couple of days ago trying to get to rhapsody.com. Nasty one, too... all kinds of stuff, exe's, that it tries to auto-download. One of those days I'm glad I'm on a Mac.Daniel M. Clark
Greg Hoffman Consulting
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