The Internet Watch Foundation has celebrated a major milestone. It has taken action against its 100,000th URL containing inappropriate child sexual abuse content. In addition, the IWF reports it has aided the rescue of at least 12 children in the past two years. The body’s 2012 accomplishments deserve some praise.
In early 2013, zvelo deployed a new approach to detect spam web pages. These web pages have little value and consist mostly of meaningless content and links, sometimes objectionable in nature, or worse yet they can be used to host and spread malware. Spam web pages continue to sprout online and following are some interesting trends about the types of web content spammers are targeting, which zveloLABS has mapped out.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average recently dropped by about 145 points and the S&P 500 index lost $136.5 billion dollars in value after a tweet from the Associated Press claimed that an explosion had taken place in the White House and that President Obama was injured. The tweet turned out to be false and stemmed from a hacked Associated Press Twitter account. The precedent has been set for us to take a long, hard and uncomfortable look at the challenges we face when relying on automated trading systems that gauge and react to public sentiment and that end with drastic results.
Consumers will soon know exactly how much of their personal information is being collected online, by whom, and may one day be able to correct errors or opt-out entirely from such activity. The name of the game is “privacy” and thanks to a combination of recent investigative reporting and pressure from advocacy groups, regulatory entities and politicians, the urgency to reach this point is now mainstream news.
There have been two notable botnets that have cost online advertisers millions of dollars in advertising click fraud in recent weeks. The first botnet, Bamital, was taken down by Microsoft and Symantec in February. A second botnet was later identified and dubbed Chameleon by Spider.io, a security company that specializes in analyzing web traffic. Since zvelo is also in the business of analyzing and categorizing web content viewed by actual users, this story resonated hard with zveloLABS.
A renewed sense of urgency to secure information, networks and electronic devices in order to thwart advanced hacking techniques loomed over the 2013 RSA conference floor in San Francisco. The harsh realization that traditional security measures simply don’t cut it anymore was confirmed by various keynotes and casual hallway conversations between peers.
Following reports of cyber-attacks targeting the New York Times in January of 2013, a secretive legal review of the powers available to the president of the United States has brought to light the option of launching preventive cyber-attacks should credible evidence indicating an impending threat against the United States surface. In this context the United States reserves the right to use cyber weaponry with or without an existing state of war. While rhetoric concerning the growth of cyber threats has grown more prominent in the last three years, this is the first instance that a state has been reported to view cyber-instruments as a “preventive” or “deterrent” option. Though heavy investments have been made in the past years, there is no empirical evidence that demonstrates that the United States intends to utilize its cyber-capabilities as announced.
The display advertising process has been pretty consistent over recent years. Advertisers like Coca-Cola, AT&T, and State Farm Group plan and buy available advertising space on publisher websites. The planning and buying is conducted by someone in-house or an outside advertising agency or independent marketer is brought in to facilitate. The use of an advertising platform usually follows and serves to disperse the actual ad units across various web properties for people to consume. People then have the choice to view and click-through on an ad depending on how enticing the offer or messaging is. What happens if an ad unit is not served and people don’t have the opportunity of reacting to it because it simply did not appear? That’s precisely what comScore revealed in their U.S. Digital Future in Focus 2013 report.
Web spam is the bombardment of mostly unsolicited advertising messages or links sent across a wide array of media, including social networking websites, instant messaging applications, online newsgroups or forums, mobile phones, and blogs. Web spam has even been found stuffed within the results pages of popular search engines like Google. While the majority of web spam is benign, certain campaigns are tied to particular types of web pages disguised to contain valuable information. In actuality, these spam web pages are often littered with irrelevant and meaningless content, sometimes inappropriate in nature, or worse yet they can be used to host and spread malware.
Here are some simple web safety tips, warnings and general practical knowledge intended for the common Internet user.