The Hill: Researchers discover use of malicious cyber tool to commit digital ad fraud

February 24, 2019 - 07:46 PM EST

Researchers discover use of malicious cyber tool to commit digital ad fraud


BY JACQUELINE THOMSEN

A company focused on cybersecurity for the media industry says it has discovered that hackers are now using a technique designed to hide malicious code to commit digital ad fraud.

Officials at Devcon told The Hill on Sunday they uncovered the use of the technique - known as a polyglot - on Friday. They said that the use of polyglots, which are considered to be among the more technically advanced techniques available for cyber criminals, points to more hackers committing digital ad fraud.

In a polyglot, users can hide malware within the code for an existing file, like an image. In a successful attack using the tool, a web browser will only load the code for what appears to be its intended purpose, allowing the malicious code to remain hidden while it carries out the attack.

For example, the hackers can manipulate the code to make it appear as if it is only an image. But when a web browser uploads the image, it is also including the malware - a JavaScript code in this case uncovered by Devcon - which can then carry out an attack.

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