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.
News that the European Internet authority RIPE is down to its last block of IPv4 addresses escalates the importance of supporting IPv6. Within a few years, IPv4 addresses will become expensive or impossible to acquire for new businesses or for expanding service providers.
I received an email seemingly from PayPal informing me that access to my account has been limited. It threw me off because I received this at my work email, which is not registered with PayPal. I immediately wondered if my account got hacked.
zveloLABS® has reported statistics and trends about the most visited types of malicious URLs by the international end users of zvelo’s technology partners. These OEM Partners include well over 100 of the world’s leading service providers, UTM and gateway appliance vendors, web filtering and parental controls solutions software makers, online advertising and brand safety technology providers, web analytics firms and many more. The data sample was extracted from actual URLs queried to and contextually categorized by the zveloNET® cloud systems during Q3 of 2012, and numbered in the tens of millions, yet far from the billions of non-malicious queries seen daily. The findings, statistics and trends shed new light on the seriousness, frequency, and negative consequences of compromised (hacked) websites hosted worldwide, and more importantly, accentuates the importance of adequate web filtering and network security.
This is the second and final recap of the ROOTCON 2012 annual hacker conference and information security gathering, which zveloLABS had the opportunity of attending. Following are additional highlights that deserve to be shared instead of being tucked away in my personal notebook.