Online Ads, Malware, Marketers, Placement Problems

Online advertising may be the mother's milk of the internet and online commerce, but it has some problems:

Google, Yahoo warned about malicious online ads - San Jose Mercury News: " . . . The Senate warned Google, Yahoo and other leading technology companies ... they need to better protect consumers from hackers exploiting their lucrative online advertising networks or risk new legislation that would force them to do so. In a new investigative report, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said hackers in some cases are infecting computers using software or programming commands hidden inside online advertisements. It suggested tougher U.S. regulations or new laws that could punish the ad networks in addition to prosecuting the hackers....The online advertising industry has grown complicated "to such an extent that each party can conceivably claim it is not responsible when malware is delivered to a user's computer through an advertisement," the Senate report said. The panel said it found no evidence that Google or Yahoo's ad networks are more vulnerable to malware attacks than other major ones. It said the industry as a whole remains vulnerable to such forms of attack...."

More Ad Dollars Flow to Pirated Video - WSJ.com:  " . . . The zzstream.li domain is registered to a nonexistent street in Sweden, while mytvline.com was registered using a domain privacy service provided by Domains By Proxy LLC. Neither site offers any contact information. The marketers said they hadn't intended for the ads to appear on the sites, and were unsure how they did. Echoing the sentiment of others, Target Corp. said its ad placement on zzstream.li was "in violation of the contract terms with the vendor who manages ad placements online," and said it was working with that vendor to have its ads removed. This is a problem that continues to plague the world of online advertising. Marketers are increasingly buying online ad space through complicated automated marketplaces and chains of brokers, instead of directly from website owners themselves. When marketers place ads through these channels, they can't be sure where they might appear across the Web...."

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