October 2, 2023

Malware is Sneaking Into Google Search Ads

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Malware and viruses always, always, find a way. You need to be extra careful while browsing online, but sometimes, malware can still pop up in the places you least expect it — including in Google Search ads.

Hackers and malware developers have set up fake websites for popular pieces of software to distribute malware. By disguising themselves as legitimate websites for non-malicious software, they’re able to get approved for publishing ads that pop up in Google search results above all other results.

In one incident, someone searched for a video streaming/recording software called OBS (Open Broadcaster Software), and downloaded an initially innocent-looking EXE file. A few hours later, hackers managed to get control of that person’s social media accounts, email, and even cryptocurrency wallets. The PC’s web browser data was even cloned.

It’s not just OBS, though. There are plenty of programs and software that attackers have attempted to imitate for distributing malware. As always, the best place to download software is through the developer’s own website, which will usually not appear as an ad result in Google.

Source: Bleeping Computer

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