This article originally appeared on Information Security Buzz on November 29, 2018.
Following the news that the United States Department of Justice has announced that it has taken action to pull down two major ad fraud rings, unveiling a 13-count indictment to charge criminal violations. IT security experts commented below.
Martin Jartelius, CSO at Outpost24:
“It is estimated that ad fraud is costing organisations billions of dollars every year so it is good to see law enforcement dedicating such large amounts of time to taking down this ring.
Anyone who believes their computers could have been impacted by the attack should try to isolate those machines from the network and take steps to harden their systems.
The rule that prevention is cheaper than recovery holds true if one is starting with protection, but we must treat both internet as well as client networks as hostile networks. Human error will always factor in and as a mature security team it is our responsibility to give our non-security employees room for error. Trust is great, but control is better.”
Mike Bittner, Digital Security & Operations Manager at The Media Trust:
“3ve underscores the importance of knowing who you do business with along the digital ad supply chain and of collaborating with them on identifying the underlying malicious code, which wreaks havoc on unknowing users and undermines the supply chain. While a lot of attention has been paid to the use of botnets by the three 3ve sub-operations, the most damning feature of these operations were the various malicious code that was deployed to infect computers, redirect traffic, etc. The malware, which would check for user names, IP addresses, certain ISPs and geographical locations, as well as for any security software, is part of a new generation of malware designed to refrain from execution unless the right conditions are met. Not only does this capability enable the malware to escape detection, it also opens up victims’ machines and devices to later attacks. Publishers and e-commerce sites that want to protect their digital assets and users from such campaigns should closely monitor all code that courses through their digital ecosystem, through continuous and real-time scanning; ensure all of them are authorized; and if not, work with their digital partners and third parties on terminating them at their source. At the end of the day, the malicious code is the real weapon and it can be stopped in its tracks.”