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Search Ads Are Being Used to Promote Ransomware and Malware According to the FBI

Threat actors use a variety of means to pull one over their victims, and it turns out that they are increasingly starting to incorporate search ads into their nefarious practices. The FBI recently put out a warning to users that search ads may be trying to promote various forms of ransomware, and they are also being used to steal log in information for crypto exchanges and the like.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that threat actors can hide their tracks pretty well if they know what they are doing. They usually pose as legitimate businesses because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up making their ads seem more trustworthy. That can make a lot more people fall for them than might have been the case otherwise.

A major issue here is the difficulty that many face in differentiating between search ads and genuine search results. The ads are usually at the very top of the SERP, and they are not very clearly marked as being ads easier. That will result in a number of users believing them to be organic search results, and you can clearly see why this would be a rather tremendous obstacle with all things having been considered and taken into account.

If a user were to click on this ad, they would be given a file to download. This download would come from a site that seems like an exact replica of the legitimate business’s web page. Hence, most users don’t realize that the site is fake, and they go for the download unaware of the massive dangers that it might pose to them.

Many ads that are promoting phishing attacks are mimicking financial platforms. Unsuspecting users might enter their log in credentials to access their accounts, and that will inevitably result in this information leaking into the wrong hands. You should be very careful to check that your search results are organic, because ads might not be safe to interact with.


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