The IT company Confiant has reported in their current Q1 2019 Demand Quality Report that almost every hundredth ad impression that users see is infected with malvertising, and that the risk of infection is higher on the weekend and especially on holidays. The basis for these numbers is the result of an analysis of over 100 billion ad impressions during the time period between Q4/2018 and Q1/2019.
Malvertising is a specific term for innocuous-seeming internet advertisements that try to execute and load damaging program code in the background. In some cases, a website visitor does not even have to click on an advertisement in order to be infiltrated by a ‘drive-by-download’. An extenuated variant of malvertising directs web users unwillingly to unwanted websites with questionable contests and gambling games or even offers that might be harmful to children, and where again similar security risks can arise.
As Confiant ascertained, on almost every fifth internet site there exists the risk of coming in contact with Malvertisting. This statement is based on the fact that on average users see 4-5 advertisements per website.
It’s interesting to note that Confiant determined a seasonal decline in malvertising. It is possible that this is in relation to the increasing use and acceptance of the new ads.txt standard (ads(.txt) is the acronym for Authorized Digital Sellers, a quite new standard to prevent ad fraud and validate legitimate advertisers). Though, whether the overall result is because of a long-term trend or a seasonal deviation is still to be determined. Despite this variation, however, the infection rates remain at a very high level.