Google Expands Site Dedicated to Fighting Malicious Ads

 
 
By Brian Prince  |  Posted 2009-06-19
 
 
 

Google has relaunched its Anti-Malvertising site to help its ad network partners fight malware in the online advertising ecosystem.

The company breathed new life into the site June 18, adding new educational content to supplement the custom search engine Google launched in February. The search engine is designed to allow users to perform a quick background check on advertisers to avoid malicious advertisements.

Through the site, users can query an advertiser's name, company name, or any URL or domain associated with an ad to find information. While not perfect—Google admits any query results should not be taken as the be-all-end-all—the site offers an important service. Last year, Google Security Engineer Niels Provos estimated about 2 percent of malicious Websites were distributing malware through advertising, based on analysis of 2,000 known advertising networks.

"The world of online advertising, like the offline world, is a dynamic environment that contains a diverse mix of people with different goals—both good and bad," a statement on the Anti-Malvertising site reads. "This website focuses on malvertising (the threat of malware being distributed through advertising) and how you can help prevent it."

The educational content on the site ranges from tips for publishers and ad operators to information on system scanning tools and recommended reading.

"The site fits into our broader goal to help and encourage all members of the online advertising ecosystem to take an active role in malvertising prevention," said Eric Davis, a member of the Google Anti-Malvertising team. "It's one part of Google's commitment to educating our customers, improving the industry as a whole, and making the Internet a safer place for everyone."

Rocket Fuel