Word of the day: Malvertisement

2 October 2014

Lots of exiting news at the moment. The Bash Shellshock bug would be surely worth a post. But the Word of the Day from 30 September, Malvertisement, is such terrifying, that I decided to write about this today.

What makes Malvertisement particularly dangerous is that almost every website with advertisements could be potentially dangerous. In addition, the way your computer will be hijacked, is based on standard internet technology like pop-up Windows.

‘Malvertising is becoming so prevalent that many security experts recommend that users block all pop-up ads and create an application whitelist that will only allow their computer to run programs that have been positively approved.’ Ok, this sounds like a plan, but application whitelisting is a hard job, in particular for home users.

Using Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 8.1 in kiosk mode will mitigate the risk somewhat because Internet Explorer runs in an isolated AppContainer at the lowest integrity level. Although the handling of Internet Explorer on a laptop with Windows 8.1 is a little getting used to, the additional security delivered by the AppContainer technology makes the change easy for me.

For advanced security requirements the usage of micro virtualization technology makes sense. Micro virtualization systems can isolate applications from each other as well as from the operating system.

Don’t panic! Have a good day.

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