March 22, 2010 12:57 PM PDT
Malware delivered by Yahoo, Fox, Google ads
by Elinor Mills
These charts show incidences of malware distributed by a number of ad delivery platforms over a six-day period last month that were detected by Avast. Yahoo and Fox have the highest counts. (Credit: Avast)
Malware that exploits holes in popular applications is being delivered by big ad delivery platforms including those run by Yahoo, Fox, and Google, according to Prague-based antivirus firm Avast.
Viruses and other malware were found to be lurking in ads last year on high-profile sites like The New York Times
and conservative news aggregator Drudge Report.com
, and this year on Drudge, TechCrunch
. The practice has been dubbed "malvertising."
Now, researchers at Avast are pointing fingers at some large ad delivery platforms including Yahoo's Yield Manager and Fox Audience Network's Fimserve.com, which together cover more than 50 percent of online ads, and to a much smaller degree Google's DoubleClick. In addition, some of the malicious ads ended up on Yahoo and Google sites, Avast claims.