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What are Malicious Software Download threats and how to detect them with AdSecure?

By Guandi

November 9, 2023


In the ever-evolving landscape of the digital world, the internet has proven to be a double-edged sword. While it offers an abundance of information, services, and entertainment, it also harbors threats that can compromise your digital security - In fact, in AdSecure's latest edition of the Violations Report for Q3 2023, we found out that almost 1 in 60 scans detected 4 or more violations in a malicious ad campaign! Among all of these threats, Malicious Software Downloads stand out as a severe and widespread danger for end users, Ad Networks and Website Publishers alike. This blog delves into the world of Malicious Software Downloads, exploring what are Malicious Software Downloads, how do Malicious Software Downloads work, and more importantly, how you can protect yourself from falling into their trap.

What are Malicious Software Downloads?

Malicious Software Downloads, often referred to as Malware Downloads, encompass a variety of digital threats designed to infiltrate your computer, mobile device, or network with harmful intent. Malware can take various forms, including Viruses, Trojans, Spyware, Adware, Ransomware, Phishing, and more. These programs are typically disguised as legitimate software, tempting unsuspecting users to download and install them, similarly to Malicious APK Files.

How do Malicious Software Downloads work?

Malicious Software Downloads rely on social engineering and deception of the unsuspecting end user to propagate. Here's how they typically work:

  1. Disguised as legitimate software: Malware often poses as legitimate software or files, such as free applications, games, media files, or even security tools. Malvertisers use enticing names and attractive descriptions to lure users into downloading them.
  1. Infection through download: Users unknowingly download and execute the Malicious Software. In some cases, Malware can be delivered via email attachments, infected websites, or compromised software updates.
  1. Silent intrusion: Once executed, the Malware operates silently in the background, carrying out its intended malicious activities, which can include data theft, system disruption, or financial fraud.

Common types of Malicious Software

Viruses: These nasty programs attach themselves to legitimate software and spread when you run those programs, harming your device.

Trojans: Named after the Trojan horse of Greek mythology, trojans disguise themselves as harmless software while containing harmful code that can steal sensitive information or provide remote access to attackers.

Ransomware: This Malicious Software locks up your files and demands a ransom for the key to unlock them. Pay up, or your data might be lost forever.

Spyware: Spyware silently collects personal information, browsing habits, and more, often for the purpose of advertising or identity theft.

Adware: Adware inundates users with unwanted advertisements and can slow down the system or compromise user privacy.

End users: How to protect yourself against Malicious Software Downloads

As an end user, to protect yourself from the threat of Malicious Software Downloads, consider the following best practices:

  1. Use only trusted sources: Download software only from reputable sources. Official app stores, developer websites, and trusted download platforms are safer options.
  2. Keep your software updated: Regularly update your operating system, applications, and antivirus software to patch known vulnerabilities.
  3. Beware of email attachments: Be cautious with email attachments, especially from unknown senders. Don't open attachments unless you're sure they're legitimate.
  4. Enable a firewall: Activate a firewall on your system to prevent unauthorized access and the transmission of data to malicious actors.
  5. Install antivirus software: Employ a reputable antivirus program to scan downloads for Malware and provide real-time protection.
  6. Back up your data: Regularly back up your data to an external source or cloud storage to mitigate the impact of ransomware attacks.

Publishers and Ad Networks: How to protect your online business from Malicious Software Downloads

It is the responsibility of Ad Networks and Publishers alike to protect the end user against this one and other threats, promoting a safe and pleasant online advertising environment for all. So, to further enhance your platform's protection, you can check out AdSecure's Malvertising Prevention Solutions. With its advanced scanning capabilities, real-time threat detection, and robust security features, AdSecure can help identify and eliminate any potential risks associated with Malicious Software Downloads and similar digital threats. By integrating AdSecure into your security arsenal, you can add an extra layer of security and ensure a safer digital experience.

By leveraging AdSecure's services, Ad Networks and Publishers can significantly reduce the risk of serving or distributing Malicious Software Downloads through active ad campaigns. This not only protects the integrity of your brands but also ensures a safer and more secure online experience for end users.

Protect your ad supply chain from Malware with AdSecure

Still wondering how to protect ad supply chain from Malware with AdSecure? Malicious Software Downloads represent an enduring challenge in the digital landscape. Cybercriminals persistently refine their tactics to mislead users and breach their online defenses. To shield yourself from these unsafe downloads, it's crucial to maintain a watchful eye, adopt comprehensive cybersecurity practices, and adhere to the security guidelines discussed in this blog. Remember, you can always keep your online safety by staying vigilant against cybercriminals! Want to start protecting your online business with AdSecure against Malware and other online threats? Sign up and try AdSecure for free now!

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