PornHub visitors hit with malware attack via poisoned ads

The three KovCoreG social engineering templates we observed. Pic Proofpoint

Ad networks offer sophisticated filtering to vendors, and hackers are increasingly using these, combined with intelligent social engineering, to hijack the advertising inventories that give them access to very popular websites where they can then target people operating specific software with certain vulnerabilities.

Proofpoint said "millions" of users "were potentially exposed to ad fraud malware due to the latest series of large-scale KovCoreG group malvertising campaigns".

Well, if you are you might have got more than you bargained for recently, as the Kovter malware was spread via poisoned ads served up by the X-rated adult PornHub site.

"Once users clicked on what they thought was an update file, they may not have even noticed a change in their systems as the malware opened an invisible web browser process, clicked on ads, and generated potential revenue for cybercriminals", explained Proofpoint VP of operations, Kevin Epstein. "The cyber criminals created fake advertisements that would appear as security warnings on the Chrome, Firefox and Edge web browsers - telling users they needed to apply a critical update".

The files downloaded Kovter, which can be used to run various kinds of malicious code, including ransomware and information-stealers.

It was noted that Pornhub and the Traffic Junky ad network acted quickly to address the matter once they were made aware of the attack.

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"The chain begins with a malicious redirect hosted on avertizingms [.] com, which inserts a call hosted behind KeyCDN, a major content delivery network", Proofpoint writes. "For users that pass these filters, the chain delivers a page containing heavily obfuscated JavaScript identical to that used by Neutrino and NeutrAds".

SECURITY FIRM Proofpoint has posted about a recent malvertising attack on top 25 website Pornhub that could have caused masturbators some sleepless nights.

A hacker collective known as KovCoreG has been targeting the users of the PornHub pornography website, tricking them into downloading and installing malware on their computers.

"We are pleased that following our notification, the site and advertising network abused in this particular attack worked swiftly to remove the infected content".

"This discovery underscores that threat actors follow the money and continue to flawless combinations of social engineering, targeting, and pre-filtering to infect new victims, Proofpoint added".

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