Home Internet Boost Your Online Security: Here’s Why You Should Install an Ad Blocker Today : Tech : Tech Times

Boost Your Online Security: Here’s Why You Should Install an Ad Blocker Today : Tech : Tech Times

New research reveals ad blockers’ unexpected importance in malicious software prevention. 

Recent findings show how spyware makers employ banner advertisements for government surveillance. Innovators in ad-based spyware distribution include European firm Intellexa, which created Predator. 

Documents showing Intellexa’s 2022 Aladdin proof-of-concept system was received by Haaretz. The papers indicate that Aladdin used internet job advertising to install phone spyware on graphic designers and campaigners, according to a TechCrunch report.

Malvertising: How Does It Work?

Aladdin’s growth and clients are unknown, but Insanet, an Israeli company, has created an ad-based infection system that can identify persons in advertising networks.

Ad exchanges are crucial to websites’ income, but unscrupulous actors use them to spread destructive malware to consumers’ devices. Malvertising, which uses user input to execute its payload, threatens online security and privacy.

Government surveillance can target dissenters with surreptitious spyware due to pervasive web advertising. Ad blockers prevent web browser advertising from loading, protecting against malvertising and ad-based malware.

In Feburary, FBI Director Christopher Wray has stressed the agency’s attention on Chinese attempts to enter computer networks with harmful malware, increasing fears about disrupting crucial US infrastructure, per the Financial Times.

After the Munich Security Conference, Wray worried about malware “pre-positioning” after the dismantling of the Volt Typhoon, a Chinese hacking network that targeted American infrastructure like the electricity grid and water supply and other global targets.

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“We’re laser-focused on this as a real threat and working with a lot of partners to identify, anticipate, and disrupt it,” Wray said, emphasizing the need for caution.

Volt Typhoon is a notable instance, but Wray warned that it is simply one of several Chinese government-led operations. China is inserting “offensive weapons” into crucial infrastructure to attack at Beijing’s discretion, he said.

This revelation is part of the FBI’s larger campaign to increase awareness of Chinese espionage, including intellectual property theft and hacking for future wars.

Wray added that the US has monitored Chinese pre-positioning for over a decade, but recent developments have increased these efforts. He said China’s espionage efforts are shifting, with Europe becoming a focal area owing to security agencies’ more limited resources than the US.

In addition to government circles, Wray has noticed a rising awareness and worry among international intelligence services, security agencies, companies, and academic institutions about Chinese espionage.

(Photo : FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
A man surfs the internet in Beijing on June 15, 2009.

Security Experts Recommends Installing Ad Blockers 

Early this year, the US Justice Department it stopped Chinese government-sponsored hackers from targeting US critical infrastructure networks using malware that hijacked “hundreds” of household and small business routers.

US officials said they dismantled the botnet by deleting malware from US-based victim routers and preventing reinfection in a court-authorized operation in January, per ABC News.

Many security experts recommend using an ad blocker to prevent malvertising. In 2022, the FBI advised internet safety by using ad blockers for PCs and phones to disable advertisements and ad exchange tracking, improving user privacy. 

After the discoveries, Citizen Lab senior researcher John Scott-Railton, who studies government spyware, stressed the need for ad blockers for internet user protection. “It’s a matter of safety.”

Related Article: Windows 11 Start Menu Ads Now Under Testing From Microsoft-Could You Disable It? 

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