The Clearwater, Fla.-based security firm KnowBe4 has warned of new breed of ransomware disguised as online advertisements. The phenomenon, dubbed "malvertizing," involves hackers who load poisoned ads onto Adspirit.de, a publishing network employed by websites such as Drudgereport.com and wunderground.com.

The malware-laced ads redirect to a Microsoft Azure website. Malvertizing has apparently spread to eBay, Yahoo and AOL.com – sites visited by millions of users – according to security researchers at MalwareBytes and SC Magazine.

KnowBe4 CEO Stu Sjouwerman said, "The same cybercrime lowlifes that infected the Yahoo website a few weeks ago have struck again, and were serving poisoned web ads which either dropped CryptoWall ransomware or infected the PC with adware."

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Roy Urrico

Roy W. Urrico specializes in articles about financial technology and services for Credit Union Times, as well as ghostwriting, copywriting, and case studies. Also: writer/editor of a semi-annual newsletter for Association for Financial Technology since 1997 and history projects funded by the U.S Interior Department, National Park Service and Warren County (N.Y.).