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Even the most popular and seemingly-secure sites can fall to cyber attacks. Earlier this month the London Stock Exchange, Autotrader and other popular British sites found themselves victim to malicious booby-trapped adverts.
The BBC posted an article that quotes Websense® Security Labs™ Senior Research Manager Patrik Runald in regard to the attacks – “we believe that quite a large number of sites were showing these adverts… such malvertising is reasonably common.” The rest of the article proceeds to outline Patrik's account of Websense research which shows that the malvertising mishap potentially exposed tens of thousands of victims to code that exploited multiple Windows programs, particularly Java and Adobe software.
According to the ad firm that was infiltrated by the malware, clearing out the ads took about three hours. However, they are still investigating how the criminals gained access.
The commonality of such malicious attacks on such popular sites only goes to show how individuals and companies need to be diligent in protecting their confidential information across all spheres of web, email and data.
What is most significant about these attacks is they show how quickly a trusted website can go to malicious in the blink of an eye. Remember, in our most recent Websense Security Labs Threat Report, we noted that nearly 80 percent of malicious sites are legitimate sites that have been compromised.
To learn more about how your organization can protect from the increasingly challenging malvertising landscape, check out this page.