A surge in malicious advertising activity abusing Google search advertisements has been detected by threat research center Spamhaus Technology.
"Malvertising through Google Ads often occurs in a modest flow, as seen by threat researchers. However, over the past several weeks, experts have seen a significant increase affecting many well-known businesses and the use of different malwares. This recorded deviation from the "norm" is worrying, the notice cautioned.
The increase follows the delivery of multiple malware variants, including AuroraStealer, IcedID, Meta Stealer, RedLine Stealer, and Vidar, by malicious actors posing as well-known companies like Adobe Reader and Microsoft Teams.
iAfrikan has reason to believe that threat actors have begun offering malvertising-as-a-service on the dark web, drawing in a sizeable clientele. Our team has observed that the adverts are supplied from various types of infrastructure, and in some cases, users are being sent to distinct malware families by the exact same search keywords, which are all signs of a possible malvertising-as-a-service operation.
In a response, Google did not provide any details or a mitigation strategy against the rise in maladvertising. "Were aware of the issue and trying to remedy the events as soon as feasible," simply stated Google spokesperson. Following enquiries on the subject received no additional responses.
Google Ads in Africa
Google Ads is the most economical and popular search advertising platform in South Africa, Nigeria, and Egypt, with an average monthly cost-per-click of $0.58, $0.56, and $0.66, respectively. Googles Ads greatest advantage is its vast reach, being the worlds largest search engine with 69 billion visitors each year and a market domination of 92% in Afrika.
Because Google Ads is everyone's first choice when it comes to a search ad platform, neither companies, agencies, or audiences can afford to ignore it, therefore the reach and possible harm that malvertisments can do is of major concern.
iAfrikan urges all of our readers to upgrade their security software and utilize filters to detect spoof adverts.