Behind the Scenes of a Malvertising Attack: How Cybercriminals are Exploiting Ad Networks

    skycentral.co.uk | Behind the Scenes of a Malvertising Attack: How Cybercriminals are Exploiting Ad Networks

    Behind the Scenes of a <span class="glossary-tooltip glossary-term-351"><span class="glossary-link"><a href="https://skycentral.co.uk/glossary/cryptojacking/">Malvertising</a></span><span class="hidden glossary-tooltip-content clearfix"><span class="glossary-tooltip-text">Cryptojacking: The unauthorized use of someone else's comput...</span></span></span> Attack

    How Cybercriminals are Exploiting Ad Networks


    Malvertising, a portmanteau of “malicious advertising,” refers to the use of online advertising to spread malware. Cybercriminals take advantage of ad networks to deploy malicious code through seemingly legitimate online ads. By exploiting the trust users place in ads, malvertising attacks can compromise the security of millions of devices.

    How Malvertising Attacks Work

    Malicious Code Injection

    Cybercriminals use a variety of techniques to inject malicious code into ad networks. This can involve compromising the ad server itself, inserting malware into ad creative files, or exploiting vulnerabilities in the ad network’s processes.

    Ad Network Distribution

    Once the malicious code is injected, it is distributed across the ad network and served to legitimate websites. Unsuspecting users who visit these websites are then exposed to the malvertising attack.

    The Impact of Malvertising Attacks

    The consequences of a successful malvertising attack can be severe. Users may unknowingly download malware onto their devices, leading to data theft, ransomware, or other forms of cybercrime. Furthermore, businesses hosting the malicious ads may suffer reputational damage and a loss of consumer trust.

    Preventing Malvertising Attacks

    • Implementing ad security measures such as ad verification and malware scanning
    • Improving ad network security to prevent unauthorized code injections
    • Educating users on the risks of clicking on online ads


    As the online advertising ecosystem continues to expand, malvertising attacks pose a growing threat to internet users and businesses alike. By understanding the techniques used by cybercriminals and implementing robust security measures, we can mitigate the risk of malvertising and protect the integrity of ad networks.