Major sites including New York Times and BBC hit by ‘ransomware’ malvertising

A number of major news websites have seen adverts hijacked by a malicious campaign that attempts to install “ransomware” on users computers, according to a warning from security researchers Malwarebytes.

The attack, which was targeted at US users, hit websites including the New York Times, the BBC, AOL and the NFL over the weekend. Combined, the targeted sites have traffic in the billions of visitors.

WTF? This is why we use ad blockers. Not only are ads invasive and annoying, but they’re dangerous. Everyone should use ad blockers. And the web advertising industry needs to start taking responsibility for these attacks. Do I hear “class-action suit” anyone?

Source: Major sites including New York Times and BBC hit by ‘ransomware’ malvertising | Technology | The Guardian

24 thoughts on “Major sites including New York Times and BBC hit by ‘ransomware’ malvertising

    • I know, everyone who writes for Macworld hates those video ads, but the editorial staff has no say in advertising.

    • I know, everyone who writes for Macworld hates those video ads, but the editorial staff has no say in advertising.

  1. Thanks Kirk, in addition before I started using Adblock, there were times that Safari would load up certain websites very slowly because of ads. And now Forbes.com is not letting you visit the site if you have an Ad Blocker turned on, so I never visit Forbes which by the way is not a big loss considering they have the most click bait misleading headline articles I have ever seen on the internet.

    But I have read that Ublock is less resource intensive than Adblock and I have noticed my new Macbook Pro heating up at times with multiple tabs open, have you tried Ublock, any credence to it being more efficient?

    • No, but I can’t see that an ad blocker hits the CPU very much. It’s essentially a list of files that it tells the browser to ignore.

  2. Thanks Kirk, in addition before I started using Adblock, there were times that Safari would load up certain websites very slowly because of ads. And now Forbes.com is not letting you visit the site if you have an Ad Blocker turned on, so I never visit Forbes which by the way is not a big loss considering they have the most click bait misleading headline articles I have ever seen on the internet.

    But I have read that Ublock is less resource intensive than Adblock and I have noticed my new Macbook Pro heating up at times with multiple tabs open, have you tried Ublock, any credence to it being more efficient?

    • No, but I can’t see that an ad blocker hits the CPU very much. It’s essentially a list of files that it tells the browser to ignore.

  3. Could you recommend an app for IOS 9.2 to block adds in the New York Times app? (I thought 1Blocker would do this. A Google search has not been of help.)

      • Thank you. One more question: is ‘ransomware malvertising’ a issue in ads within apps, such as the New York Times app or is it exclusive to Safari?

        • I haven’t heard of this happening on iOS. It is a recent problem on the Mac, and it is common on Android. I’m not sure if that sort of malware could actually have an affect on iOS, because of sandboxing.

          • Thanks again.

            I installed an ad blocker after ‘acquiring’ genieo. (It is hidden under ‘Application’ in the Activity Monitor and if you kill it, it comes right back.) I know what to do to get rid of it, but must first stop procrastinating and make a bootable install drive in case anything goes wrong. I am still on a learning curve with the Mac, which is why I am here reading your blog after 25 years of DOS/Windows.

  4. Could you recommend an app for IOS 9.2 to block adds in the New York Times app? (I thought 1Blocker would do this. A Google search has not been of help.)

      • Thank you. One more question: is ‘ransomware malvertising’ a issue in ads within apps, such as the New York Times app or is it exclusive to Safari?

        • I haven’t heard of this happening on iOS. It is a recent problem on the Mac, and it is common on Android. I’m not sure if that sort of malware could actually have an affect on iOS, because of sandboxing.

          • Thanks again.

            I installed an ad blocker after ‘acquiring’ genieo. (It is hidden under ‘Application’ in the Activity Monitor and if you kill it, it comes right back.) I know what to do to get rid of it, but must first stop procrastinating and make a bootable install drive in case anything goes wrong. I am still on a learning curve with the Mac, which is why I am here reading your blog after 25 years of DOS/Windows.

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