Knowing the different malicious software is an asset for you to protect yourself from them.

Thus, through the article on Malware, type of virtual attack, the concept of Adware emerges.

Adware– Advertising + Software- is software, which may or may not be considered malware, which displays unwanted and invasive ads on any screen, usually within a browser, in order to collect information about the victim, so that, in a next invasion, be it content that interests, leading to a click on the part of the individual. Its most recurrent method is to disguise itself as legitimate sites or to “ride” from trusted sites so that users feel confident with the information and, consequently, install the services on their devices. In general, it all comes down to a computer program that displays ads that do not come from the site you visit, thus generating revenue for the hacker.

These unintended ads may appear on a main screen or on a new screen that appears during the installation process of the downloaded software. In addition, it may happen that new tabs are opened in the browser, a change to the homepage or redirection to websites with inappropriate content.

Adware can enter your computer in two ways:

  • Freeware or Shareware: adware can be associated with these types of programs.
  • Infected sites: by visiting one of these types of sites, an unauthorized installation of adware may occur.

To understand if you are under Adware attack, we expose the main effects noted:

  • Ads appear in inappropriate and unexpected places;
  • The browser’s home page has been changed without permissions;
  • Web pages visited regularly, are not displayed correctly;
  • The links are not directed to the expected sites;
  • The browser is extremely slow and has flaws, suddenly appearing new toolbars, extensions or plug-ins;
  • Your computer starts to install unwanted applications without your consent.

This software can take several formats, such as:

Pop-ups

The classic, which is characterized by an endless stream of ads that appears at once, sometimes serving as a bridge to another ad.

Espionage

Identical to other malware, spyware, specializes in tracking all online and offline activities done on the device, in order to draw the most appropriate advertisement according to the victim’s preferences.

Attack Man-in-the-Middle

It is defined as sites that redirect traffic to malicious systems, displaying advertisements. However, this attack occurs even on supposedly trusted sites.

Most common types of Adware:

Fireball

Developed by a Chinese Digital Marketing company, Rafotech, it is a browser hijacker, that is, a browser hijacker. It is accompanied by the Mustang browser and Deal Wifi, installed without the user’s knowledge. When Fireball infects a computer, it takes over the browser, changing the homepage to a fake search engine, inserting intrusive pop-up ads on any page visited.

Appearch

With the same modus operandi as the browser hijacker, Appearch is included in another free software, which is characterized by including an exaggerated number of advertisements in the browser, making navigation almost impossible. Even if you manage to visit a website, this adware converts textual pieces into links, so that every time you select that text, a pop-up ad opens to offer a download. Also, it may happen that a warning appears saying that the page has limited access, so to access it, it is necessary to subscribe to certain notifications. Once subscribed, the program rewrites the settings, making it impossible to cancel them.

DeskAd

Using the same method as other adware, DeskAd acts very discreetly and gradually assumes full control of the browser. Usually, this type is distributed via email attachments, changing the registration of the device. Still, it can replicate itself, overloading the memory and the processor.

It is possible to see if your device is under the influence of adware, by reducing the loading speed, since it reduces performance in the execution of tasks and in data consumption, which increases considerably.
In order to protect against this danger, we expose the good safety practices to be adopted:
  • Keep your operating system up-to-date: this way, hackers do not find vulnerabilities in the system, making entry to insert malware more complicated.
  • Avoid unknown sites or links: be they USB sticks or cryptic emails, do not open any of these links, unless you are absolutely sure what it is about.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings: check if the website or email is reliable, using the URL of the page and do not download email attachments from unknown sources, or unreliable apps.
  • Do not click on pop-up ads: Banners or pop-up ads are the best known method of adware. The ideal is not to click on these types of ads or to have an ad blocker.
  • Make a backup copy of your files regularly.
  • Change passwords periodically, not only offline, such as electronic devices, but online, in the case of email and social networks.
  • Opt for safe browsing, always considering, before opening any hyperlink or installing any application, especially if it is of unknown origin.

Adware is often confused with Malvertising, a term that mixes malware and advertising. This concept refers to a technique that secretly directs individuals to another unsecured page. Although the ads look legitimate, they have hidden malicious code. In other words, cybercriminals buy ad space on trusted sites, with malicious code embedded in ads, affecting users who upload to an infected site.

The victim can be infected in two ways:

  • Simply loading the page where the ad is inserted without having clicked on it;
  • Clicking on the ad itself.


In conclusion, the big difference between Adware and Malvertising centers on:

  • Malvertising is a malicious code inserted in the ads, which is located on a web page. It affects only users who view the infected page.
  • Adware is a program that affects all web pages visited.

ActiveSys can help in the security of your devices, through services and products that will serve as a security link. Do not hesitate to ask for help, we are available for you.

 

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