Visitors to top porn sites hit by malvertising attack

A malicious advertisement posted through an ad network tried contained a Flash Player exploit

In the latest attack involving malicious advertisements, hackers managed to launch Flash Player exploits against the visitors of several popular porn websites.

It's not clear how many users were impacted, but the affected websites have over 250 million monthly visits combined, according to researchers from Malwarebytes who spotted and analyzed the attack.

The malicious ads were posted through an advertising network called AdXpansion that was abused in similar incidents in the past.

The attackers managed to distribute through the network a Flash-based ad that attempted to exploit a vulnerability in Flash Player.

The flaw affects Flash Player through version 17.0.0.134, which was released within the last two months, the Malwarebytes researchers said in a blog post Thursday. Affected sites listed in the blog post include Drtuber.com, Nuvid.com, Hardsextube.com and Justporno.tv.

Unlike more subtle malvertising attacks, where rogue ads redirect the user's browser to a third-party server that hosts an exploit kit, in this attack the ad launched the exploit code directly.

This approach might be an attempt to evade detection by security tools that track exploit kit servers and traffic patterns.

"It is interesting to see the trend of exploit kits taking the appearance of advertisers by leveraging Flash for serving the 'creative' and exploit in one single package," the researchers said. "It is a minimalist type of approach which seems to work quite efficiently."

Malvertising attacks have been frequent occurrences in recent months and have affected a large number of ad networks, despite efforts from their owners to prevent them.

On Thursday, security researchers from Trend Micro reported a separate attack, where cybercriminals posted malicious ads through the compromised servers of an advertising company called Mad Ads Media.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags online safetytrend microsecurityMalwarebytesAdXpansionExploits / vulnerabilitiesmalware

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?