Home » Alerts » Stegno Malvertising Campaign a New Threat to Watch Out for

When it comes to fraud, hackers have many options at their end. There’s phishing, where hacker posing as a genuine figure tries to trick victims into providing a sensitive data. There’s man-in-the-middle, where hackers capture traffic on a public or less secure Wi-Fi network. But there’s one way of fraud that’s exceptionally clever and is a new method on an old trick.

The method in trend is called steganography, a way used to hide top-secret data in plain sight, often within a document or image. By mixing code into images, and releasing the corrupt image off as something harmless as, say, web banner ads, hackers are easily able to fix program code on unsecured systems.

Cyber security professionals have found a two-year long cybercriminal advertisement using steganography method on some of the most renowned websites in the UK, Australia, and the USA. The long-lasting attack distributed corrupt pictures through online ad networks for news sites like Sky News, Channel 9 and more, according to the reports. If weak, readers may have been infected with malware skilled of gathering keystrokes, footage from webcams, and account or email passwords. It’s a technique as effective as it is difficult since it takes advantage of often overlooked, but prominent and unsafe, services for news websites. Those services: ad networks.


Ad networks ease the distribution of ads for news websites. While some networks use ads for nasty activities, most do not. This may be how some hateful advertisements, or malvertisements, often wind up upsetting millions of site visitors.

But the newly revealed malvertising campaign, called Stegno by its founders, is different. Its program code is well hidden in a picture’s pixels, making it tough for even capable or innovative ad networks to found. It shelters its trails well, performing itself only after it confirms a user isn’t successively a virtual machine, security software or actively gathering data packets in order to better hide from cyber security professionals.

Still, regardless of its innovative techniques, Stegno can only harm users if they meet certain standards. Namely, the victim’s system needs to run an insecure version of both Adobe Flash and Internet Explorer, according to Ares Technical reports. Both the applications have patches calculated fix the ill-treated susceptibilities. Still, Stegno could trouble millions of users across the world.

Stegno is active because it targets on the some of the most common rules when it comes to the numerical world: that users don’t require to update their system; that ad networks don’t require to prudently screen their ads; and that cyber security professional can detect all malware while taking known, uniform precautions to run a clean computer for security research methods. Sometimes these traditions carry strength, but most of the time they overlook the essential reserves we need to make in online security.

Tips to protect from Sophisticated Malvertising campaigns like Stegno

  • Keep your system up to date. Campaigns like Stegno totally target unprotected, unpatched devices. In order to ward off danger, and to make sure you’re having the latest and most safe system you can, confirm you update your device software as soon as an update is there. Today’s operating systems mostly include an auto-update facility. If you can, try to keep it updated.
  • Use an ad-blocker. Ads have spanned the verge from the mundane to troublesome. It may be valuable to invest in an ad-blocker package in order to block away malware and malvertisements. There is, however, a proper problem to study: many news websites depend on successfully delivered ads to work — so if you enjoy a journal’s work and want to support them, deliberate either whitelisting their website or check if they provide a subscription-based ad-free website.
  • Always use a complete security solution. Finally, you’ll need a complete security solution that protects and scans you from the malicious software on the Web. Solutions like Bitdefender Antivirus are a valuable investment for those looking to save all of their devices from the internet’s numerous maladies, like Stegno. As always, have your full carefulness and make sure the Antivirus you go for matches your goals and your digital lifestyle.
  • If you have any installation and configuration problem of Antivirus, simply contact the Bitdefender Tech Support.The technician hired by these support companies are expert in their work. They assist their customer in a very simple and easy manner, by assisting them online only.