Google cuts out ad injectors after 300,000 Chrome users reported issues this year
Google is cutting out ad injectors which have affected its ad services very badly.
An announcement made at the Google Online Security blog reveals that a whopping 300,000 Chrome users, reported issues related to ad injections.
Ad injections are not new, it is done when a legit ad is replaced by a malicious one, through means of hijacking code. New ads are also injected to a webpage, with an intent to infect the user’s system. About four months ago, Google highlighted the problem, and said that it had cleaned up several extensions from its Chrome Webstore, and also began blocking Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs), which are malware apps disguised as reputed software.
It had said that is findings, to its own surprise, revealed that several of its own websites were victims to ad injectors. The above image is an example of an injected ad placed at a reputed website, and the ad in question appears to not only be intrusive, but also happens to be a phishing scam. This ad injection problem affects the publishers who obviously won’t be compensated by such ads, the advertisers who may not even be aware that their ad has been hijacked, and eventually the end user as well who may end up with a ransomware phishing scam or affected by some malware. Injected ads puts all involved parties at risk.
Google has built a tool to blacklist ad injectors. This tool is called DoubleClick Bid Manager. It has an automated filter which helps advertisers to tackle a major issue, buying injected ads across the web. This in turn will reduce the number of injected ads spreading around, or so Google believes. The feature is even more powerful thanks to the fact that the tool can actually detect ad injects, thus improving the blacklist. This is also easy as there is no settings which needs to be altered, everything is taken care of by the Mountain View Company, thus ensuring that its advertisers and agencies are safe.
The DoubleClick Bid Manager has already blacklisted about 1.4% of its ad inventory. But Google has also pointed out this does not spell the end of injected ads, and will rather help in reducing the amount of such malicious ads.
Speaking of ads, Google was recently rumoured to have forced AdBlock Plus (and other adblocking software) users to watch unskippable video ads, unless they whitelisted YouTube.com or disabled the blocker in Google Chrome. This was later found to be untrue, and that the mishap occured as a consequence of a security issue which was fixed in the YouTube app for Google Chrome.