Great News! We've updated our device list and added some new devices of the most commonly used in the mobile digital marketplace today.Continue reading
Meet with AdSecure at TES Affiliate Conferences
Meet with Customer Success Manager Guandi Bai and Business Development Manager Jordan Franken at TES Affiliate Conferences.Continue reading
Find out about EXADS and AdSecure’s ad compliance integration at DMEXCO
The lack of ad compliance and bad quality ads are highly damaging for ad serving platforms. This is where AdSevure comes into play!Continue reading
AdSecure releases 2020 Violations Report
For this report AdSecure analysed more than 1 million ad campaigns across multiple regions, devices, and browsers for partners between 1st January to 31st December 2020.Continue reading
AdSecure to virtually attend Internext
AdSecure's Bryan Taylor will be virtually attending Internext from the 10-11 February 2021.Continue reading
AdSecure releases Content Classification feature
Content Classification is a suite of classification solutions designed to help AdSecure partners both understand and control the visual elements within their digital ad content.Continue reading
AdSecure is 'virtually' attending DMEXCO@home 23 & 24 September.Continue reading
AdSecure releases its 2019 Security Violations Report
AdSecure analysed more than 1 million ad campaigns across multiple regions, devices, and browsers for partners between 1st January to 31st December 2019.Continue reading
AdSecure becomes a TAG Registry trusted partner
AdSecure is verified as a member of the TAG Registry by the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG). TAG is an advertising industry initiative that fights criminal activity across the digital advertising supply chain.Continue reading
Unveiling our latest detection - Blacklisted URL
As part of our mission to build a safer digital world, this week we are pleased to roll out our newest security detection, which plugs into a multitude of web and antivirus blacklists to provide deeper insight into the security -- or lack thereof -- of every URL in a given ad redirection chain.Continue reading
New features spotlight: Introducing AdSecure’s search engine and date filter
We have released our new internal search engine live on the AdSecure platform, for enhanced search and filtering. This new quality of life improvement will help you to quickly find scans in your account, and it is a great new, user friendly option in addition to our existing available filters.Continue reading
AdSecure’s Security Violations Report for Q2 2019 reveals increases in Adware and Scareware attacks
In our Q2 violations report cyber criminals ramped up their attacks for Spring, AdSecure observed a major increase in detections for Adware and Scareware violations compared to Q1.Continue reading
AdKernel & AdSecure announce new integration to stop ad cloaking attacks & protect RTB and PPC campaigns against digital threats
This new integration is designed to drive a more secure digital advertising ecosystem for clients of both companies.Continue reading
Introducing the latest AdSecure detection: Uncommon Protocols
Uncommon protocols are very annoying to end users because they can lead to automatic prompts to open or send a message in Facetime or via SMS, launch Skype calls, or automatically open apps like iTunes without the user consenting to the action.Continue reading
Traffic Factory & AdSecure come together to protect users from digital risk
Dublin, 13 May 2019. AdSecure has formed a new partnership with global ad network Traffic Factory to be their ad security technology provider and drive the continued safety of their network.
AdSecure’s innovative technology will scan ad campaigns for suspicious activity before they launch on Traffic Factory’s network and then further analyse those campaigns while they are live. Suspicious activity can range from quality issues that damage the user experience, such as auto-redirects, back button hijacks, and auto-downloads, to harmful user security threats like malware, browser lockers, phishing URLs, and ransomware. AdSecure will provide constant detection and notification for these and many other digital threats for Traffic Factory, allowing them to immediately halt the offending campaigns and take the appropriate action to maintain user security and provide an amazing experience, every time.
Takanori Kanto, Sales Director at Traffic Factory commented, “It is with great pleasure that we announce our official partnership with AdSecure, a disruptive new force within the field of ad verification and the fight against malvertising. This collaboration will continue to ensure that our network is 100% secure for both publishers on our network and of course, their end users.”
Bryan Taylor, Sales Manager at AdSecure added, “We are delighted to come together with Traffic Factory to launch this great new partnership. Traffic Factory serve over 6 billion daily impressions, and the integration of our ad security solution on Traffic Factory’s network ensures that we can work together to protect millions of internet users from today’s most modern and pernicious digital threats, and solidify the security of the ads served to Traffic Factory’s premium quality traffic sources.
AdSecure provides constant detection and notification of security, compliance & quality issues within the digital ad supply chain. To find out how AdSecure can provide protection for your online business visit www.adsecure.com
TrafficFactory is a global provider of high quality traffic. We’ve harnessed the most up-to-date, accurate Geo-targeting technology , and combined with our Real-Time Bidding model, our clients get the high quality traffic they deserve at a price they can feel good about. To learn more, please visit the site www.trafficfactory.com
For further press information
EXOGROUP ramps up its investment in AdSecure
Barcelona, 12 March 2019. EXOGROUP, the digital technology enterprise business group, today announced it is making a further significant investment in its online ad verification technology company AdSecure. AdSecure was launched in 2017 to provide ad networks and publishers with ad scanning technology to ensure safe, compliant and malware free ad delivery.
EXOGROUP’s further investment of 1 million euros will be used to build more features for the AdSecure platform, grow the existing team and invest in marketing and sales strategies to continue to grow AdSecure’s business.
EXOGROUP’s CEO and Founder Benjamin Fonzé commented, “Ad networks and Publishers face many challenges in today’s market. It is of paramount importance that the end user is protected from cybercriminal activity. AdSecure is constantly developing new AI technologies that intercept any suspicious activity hidden deep within online ad formats, be it in the creatives, ad formats or advertiser landing pages.”
“The impact of malicious attacks on end users can have negative effects on business growth, profit and customer confidence. It’s important that businesses have the tools available to stop end users being exploited by unscrupulous people who are looking for any opportunity to steal or misuse personal and confidential information as well as hijacking a users devices for malicious means.”
“85% of Internet users prefer an ad-supported free Internet therefore it is the duty of all platforms to ensure that those users are fully protected. Our further investment in AdSecure is EXOGROUPs commitment to keeping the internet safe for all users.”
AdSecure currently offers a comprehensive range of features that ad networks and publishers can utilise including:
Intelligent Scanning: Crawler technology that automatically scans ad tags, smart links, landing pages, programmatic RTB campaigns and native ads.
Fully automated platform: Easy integration with our powerful API.
Robust detection: Ensuring ads are compliant with client guidelines with extensive detection coverage.
Multi-targeting: Protection from cloaking practices and using behavioral targeting techniques, checking from multiple browsers, devices and locations including residential and mobile carrier IPs to ensure compliant ad delivery and advertiser landing pages.
Instant detection notifications: Whenever a violation is detected, AdSecure generates real-time notification alerts via a callback url or email. The notification provides advanced reports with forensic grade information and detail.
Spy tool: Access every single report, regardless of the detection outcome, allowing a deeper level of forensic analysis thanks to the complete ad redirection chain provided.
AdSecure intelligence: Real-time response feature applied to AdSecure’s historical dataset allowing malicious domain blocking.
Ad performance: Monitor the horsepower of ads to stop SEO penalisation from slow ads, and regain control of website performance
AdSecure introduces dedicated Suspicious TLD Detection
AdSecure is committed to providing our partners with a higher level of transparency, choice, and control when evaluating the health and security of their digital supply chain and eliminating malicious digital threats. This is why we are very pleased to announce the launch of a new, dedicated detection option: Suspicious TLD (Top-level domain).
Top-level domains (TLDs) — such as .com, .org, and .edu — are the most prominent domains on the internet, and we have all spent time on a .com domain. You’re reading this on one right now.
While domain names are a key aspect of building a strong online identity, they can also be targeted for abuse by cybercriminals looking to set up hosts for a plethora of dangerous schemes. Spamming, scamming, phishing attacks, malware distribution, and other suspicious activity can often be found lurking on sites with TLDs that look somewhat… unusual.
Enter the Suspicious TLD – top level domains far less familiar to everyday internet users, and frequently weaponized by online scam-artists and threat actors for profit.
Suspicious TLDs — domains ending with things like .xyz, .gq, .country, .stream, — are popular with cybercriminals because they are usually cheaper to obtain than more universally recognised TLDs. This allows the bad guys to register a chain of highly similar top-level domains (like abcd1.xyz, abcd2.xyz, abcd3.xyz) and spread their malicious attacks continuously. When one domain is flagged and shut down, just move your attack to the next one.
Despite the brief lifespan of a Suspicious TLD, their potential impact on the digital ecosystem can ripple far and wide. These domains also pose a unique challenge for dealing with them, because while many have malicious activity lying in wait, many are perfectly clean.
As AdSecure’s Technical Director, Pierre Brouca, points out “the issue with a suspicious domain, like .xyz is that there can be completely safe activity on some, while others are definitely being used to spread malware, or a phishing attack. You also have cases like .xin, which in certain regions will definitely be a suspicious domain, but in China, will be a common TLD used legitimately. Being able to understand not only that the domain is suspicious, but that it also has a serious violation attached to it, makes ad delivery more efficient, saving both time and money for our partners.”
The paradoxical nature of these TLDs has led other ad verification providers to group them all in the same violation bucket as malware, even when the ad is legitimately harmless. This lack of clarity leads to ads being halted without cause, a loss of time and money tackling a non-issue, and potential friction between publishers and advertisers.
AdSecure brings a clear, precise approach to this challenge by introducing a completely separate, fully dedicated violation classification for “Suspicious TLD”. This gives our partners a transparent view of both the suspicious domain and what might — or might not — be lurking within, as our scan reports will also flag separately each additional violation attached to the ad campaign.
With a complete view of what’s really happening within Suspicious TLDs, choice and control over how to proceed is returned, and our partners can confidently take the action that is best for their business.
AdSecure’s new dedicated detection for Suspicious TLD will be available to all partners as of the 31st of January. To learn more, click here
3 trending ad compliance problems in 2019… and how to solve them
Within the digital advertising ecosystem the challenge of securing ad creatives against malicious threats has historically taken a back seat to the bigger, “louder” problem of ad fraud. The impact invalid traffic has on the digital supply chain is often easier for stakeholders to get their heads around, leaving malvertising as a “quiet” problem that has allowed threat actors to fly under the radar and profit from the ensuing damage.
In 2015 an IAB report found an overall US$1.1 billion cost impact on digital advertising from malvertising attacks. Despite being less immediately visible, the problem of creative compliance is not new, and since 2015 attacks have scaled in lockstep with the digital ad ecosystem.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that awareness of the problem – and the resolve to fight it – has also grown. The quiet problem is finding its voice.
With programmatic exchanges making creative compliance a key pillar of their programmatic principles, and Google taking a near zero tolerance approach to abusive ads with the launch of Chrome 71, the focus on delivering clean, compliant creatives has sharpened dramatically. For publishers — and the networks and exchanges they partner with — the cost of inaction will soon become too high to ignore.
AdSecure has identified 3 problems that we expect to trend throughout 2019 and the best solutions to face them head on, and win.
Programmatic & Mobile ad spend: threat actors follow the money
The rise of programmatic ad spend continued throughout 2018, and in 2019 an estimated 65% of all money spent on digital ads will be traded programmatically. Advertisers will spend US$84 billion on programmatic advertising this year, and by 2020 the total is expected to rise to US$98 billion. The money flowing programmatically is massive, and there’s one certainty when discussing malicious activity: follow the money.
More money, more malicious problems. Everything swells in programmatic, creating an ideal breeding ground for dangerous attacks. With publishers losing visibility and control over exactly who is buying traffic, the question of facing malicious activity becomes a matter of when, rather than if.
Similarly, mobile ad spend comprised a staggering 75% of all digital ad spending in 2018, and that growth will continue in 2019. The amount of money involved in mobile advertising is like catnip for criminals. In November 2018, a malware campaign targeting iOS devices managed to hijack an astounding 300 million browser sessions within 48 hours. The culprit behind that attack is still active today.
The AdSecure Solution:
For publishers, negating the damage wrought by malvertising attacks on programmatic campaigns means taking back control to protect both visitors and the revenue streams that fuel the creation of new, engaging content. Trusted partners that embrace the need for transparency and a commitment to delivering clean, malware free programmatic campaigns are a must.
Working with partners who collaborate with dedicated ad verification vendors capable of scanning programmatic campaigns to detect malicious attacks is the best solution. Should ad networks and exchanges not show a willingness to provide that solution, publishers can take on a dedicated service directly, and possibly reconsider their future partner relationships.
With the power mobile campaigns hold in today’s digital advertising landscape, particularly those campaigns running on carrier networks, an anti-malvertising provider that enables their clients to scan campaigns across a global mobile carrier proxy network is key, as is being sure that you decide which campaigns are scanned using mobile carrier proxies, and the frequency. Control needs to be in your hands.
Ad Cloaking & IP Blacklisting: sleight of hand from cyber criminals
Threat actors are clever, and quite inventive when it comes to bypassing ad operations teams searching for bad ads. In order to avoid scrutiny, or risk their attack being stopped before the damage can be done, criminals often resort to ad cloaking via IP blacklisting. Once they have identified those IPs they want to avoid, they are added to a blacklist, which will then present the flagged IPs with a clean ad while the dangerous content creeps along to the intended target.
Some schemes go so far as blacklisting all standard datacentre proxies in a target location, making it difficult for a scanning solution that relies on these proxies alone to detect cloaked attacks. In this scenario, even a dedicated verification tool will be fooled into allowing dangerous attacks to slip through.
The AdSecure Solution:
What if you could take from cyber criminals their ability to know just which IPs to blacklist, but also nullify the benefits of blacklisting altogether? It’s entirely possible with the right approach to proxy coverage. Scanning ad creatives using an intricate network of Residential IPs makes it virtually impossible for an attacker to determine which IPs to blacklist, while making it counterproductive to do so, as these IPs belong to the very users they are looking to target.
Ad cloaking is a growing concern for many ad networks looking to protect their reputations for clean ad delivery and instill confidence in their publishing partners, but with an innovative approach to proxy usage it’s a concern that they can safely say they have covered.
Cryptojacking: a drain on (other people’s) resources
Cryptojacking is growing because it’s easy money and relatively simple to use, even for those low on tech savvy. Cryptojacking is seen as less risky and more profitable than ransomware as it continuously generates income. It is also far more difficult to uncover than ransomware, lowering the fear of being caught.
One way to implement a cryptojacking program is by injecting a script into a digital ad or website. Once a user visits the infected site, or encounters the ad carrying the cryptominer the script is executed, leaving the user blissfully unaware.
This differs from typical malvertising attacks as there is no obvious damage to the user. It does, however, put a massive drain on the CPU of the users device. For individuals this can be annoying, but for a large organisation infected by a cryptojacking script, the costs of detecting and resolving performance issues, or replacing equipment can have a detrimental impact.
The AdSecure Solution:
Scan your creatives early, and often. When looking at dedicated solutions for scanning ad campaigns and detecting suspicious behaviour, a tool that gives you the ability to scan in large volumes will be most effective in protecting users from falling victim to a cryptominer that kills their devices over time.
One final thought: The importance of transparency and trust in your ad tech partners
Digital is unique in that the seller of traffic is responsible for what appears on their site, so ultimately it’s the publisher who gets the blame when something malicious is delivered to their visitors. That duty of care to the consumer means working with partners who understand the weight of that responsibility.
Transparency and trust are key in safeguarding users from harm. Partnering with compliance experts who bring a full spectrum approach to tackling malicious activity, and know that rather than holding control over protection tools and obscuring when they are used — and how often — it’s through empowering clients to take back control of ad creative quality that will ultimately lead to the creation of a secure digital advertising ecosystem.
AdSecure provides creative security solutions that empower our partners to take back control and keep their ads safe. We provide solutions for programmatic & mobile campaign scanning, and robust protection against ad cloaking & IP blacklisting via our innovative residential proxy model. Click here to learn more.
AdSecure launches new Native ad protection feature
Dublin, 14 January 2019. AdSecure, the ad verification tool used by ad networks, ad operations teams and publishers, today announced the addition of Native ad protection to its digital weapons arsenal in order to combat digital threats and malware and safeguard end users when exposed to online advertising.
Native ads pose an interesting challenge when it comes to protecting the user experience. Normally, the Native ad itself looks perfectly clean and harmless but the potentially dangerous elements lurk underneath the surface when a user engages with the Native ad. Post click is where attacks can happen at multiple points throughout the redirection chain, therefore a crucial aspect of protecting against the corruption of Native ads is the ability to understand where a user is sent once they engage with a Native ad.
The risk of attacks via Native ads increases when factoring in the use of programmatic campaigns into the mix. The loss of direct control on the demand generated by programmatic can lead to rapid scaling of harmful activity by cyber criminals.
AdSecure has addressed this issue with a ‘new click option’ which scans and analyses the entire redirection chain: from the Native widget display image through to the final ad’s landing page. This process reveals a full understanding of what will happen to the user post click in order to stop any harmful activity from damaging their experience and their security.
AdSecure’s Product Manager Mathieu Derval commented, “The Native ad format has proved to be incredibly popular and effective both on social media platforms and more traditional news media sites. This has led to massive growth, according to eMarketer, Native ad spend by U.S. marketers rose by more than 30% when compared to 12 months ago. Additionally, with so many apps and mobile sites designed to compliment the Native format over 90% of ad dollars go toward mobile placements. The Drum estimates that 90% of the world’s largest brands are running Native campaigns.”
Derval continued, “With the exponential growth of Native ad placements, criminals are using this format to inflict cyber crime after the end user engages with the Native ad. The end user can then fall victim to a redirection hijack that sends them to a malicious, or offensive landing page. AdSecure’s technology ensures that end users, publishers, ad operations teams and ad networks are fully protected with our new click option, taking creative security to the next level.”
To find out more about AdSecure or to request a free demo please visit https://www.adsecure.com/contact/
How AdSecure kept advertising safe in 2018
2018 is drawing to a close, and before we know it, 2019 will kick off in full swing, bringing with it new challenges and new opportunities. 2018 marked the launch of an amazing journey for our ambitious project. We overcame challenges, discovered new opportunities for growth, and drove our mission forward to empower our partners in the digital ad space to act with confidence and control when facing malicious activity.
With the holidays fast approaching, the AdSecure team thought it was a good time to take a look back at some of our 2018 highlights, and a few quick (spoiler free) hints at what’s coming for 2019.
Cyber criminals are always looking for new methods to advance the spread of – and to profit from – malicious activity. At AdSecure we decided to tackle ongoing bad guy innovation with the mindset of continuing to evolve and adapt to stop criminals from ruining the experience of user’s looking to engage with great content.
In December 2017 we first introduced our innovative approach to combat cloaking and IP blacklisting techniques with our intricate network of standard, residential, and mobile carrier IPs spread around the globe. In 2018 we picked up right where we left off, adding new locations to expand the scope of our coverage, including Australia, Greece, Nigeria, South Africa, Taiwan, and United Arab Emirates to name a few.
Throughout the year we also continued to enhance the level of protection we provide for our partners. In 2018 we added scanning & support for:
- SSL non-compliant
- Push ads
- Programmatic RTB Campaigns
- Click-on banner
- Native ad protection
AdSecure will continue evolving and adapting to face the newest, and most dangerous, digital threats as they surface by adding new locations, tools, and ad format protections throughout 2019.
Taking the show on the road
In 2018, AdSecure stepped out into the adtech world and officially announced our arrival as a new, ambitious start up with the goal of building a safer digital advertising ecosystem by bringing clarity, simplicity, and innovation to the ad creative verification process.
We chose to introduce ourselves at two of the biggest media shows in Europe. In both cases, it was an amazing experience for us, and we can’t wait to make an even bigger splash in 2019!
Mobile World Congress 2018
Most of the AdSecure team live and work in beautiful Barcelona, so attending Mobile World Congress – the world’s largest mobile tech conference – was a no-brainer for us. The chance to introduce ourselves to stakeholders in the mobile advertising space and learn what is most important to them when it comes to keeping their campaigns compliant and malware free — and develop our solution informed by their insights and experiences — was invaluable.
Arguably the most important conference on the digital marketing calendar, at DMEXCO18 in Cologne we took to the stage, quite literally, as a first time exhibitor, joining some of the biggest ad networks, exchanges, and ad tech companies out there. The DMEXCO experience is exhilarating and at times overwhelming, but ultimately completely unforgettable.
Over the 12th & 13th of September we had an amazing time discussing the key issues companies face when it comes to tackling malicious activity and compliance challenges, and showing them how we can help keep their ads safe with our innovative approach to ad creative security. We also took the opportunity to announce the end of our platform beta, and the countdown to our full platform launch! In addition to having high quality conversations, we met fantastic people, and sparked great new relationships that led to strong partnerships in the months following.
As a DMEXCO freshman myself, for anyone out there in the digital world considering attending for the first time in 2019, take it from me: the experience cannot be beat. See you at DMEXCO19!
Setting the stage for 2019
Over the past few months our brilliant development team have been working hard to bring the new AdSecure user interface to life, in order to provide our partners with a robust, powerful, and easy to use platform that both protects their ad creatives from myriad threats, and helps them regain control of their digital landscape.
In November the team completed this goal, and we were delighted to announce the launch of our full AdSecure platform, both to our current partners, and future partners we are excited to work with in the coming years. Now, as we close 2018, our team is busy finalising work on the next key new addition to AdSecure, a real-time threat response tool which will allow our users to block malicious domains before they have a chance to damage – either to their own business, or that of their trusted partners.
For those who have been following us throughout 2018 — either as a collaborator, or as someone curious to learn more about us — we hope you’ve enjoyed the journey as much as we have. To all our clients who showed confidence and trust in the work we are doing, and helped us grow in leaps and bounds this year, we want thank you for trusting us to keep your ads safe.
We also want to let you know that we have some big plans for 2019. We intend on starting the year on a high note straight away, with the announcement of a great new partnership, which we will tell you all about… next year! Watch this space.