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Malicious advertising

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# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭


Can anyone explain why Adwords is still displaying malicious ads? I've tried to block them individually but there are too many in too many categories. Presently they come in various forms of "you have (1) private message" - "(3) people have unfriended you" - "(2) people have blocked you" - "you are missing the video converter tool" and the myriad "Congratulations! You have won" ads. All are designed to be dishonest, to fool people into clicking on them - and all of them redirect YOUR visitor to websites that attempt to load malicious code onto their computers. The present malicious code is called "Fake scan webpage 22" by Norton. This is dangerous, malicious code that publishers cannot protect their visitors from.

I have a screenshot of one such ad - out of hundreds. Except there's nothing I can do to block them. I'm running a 17 year old website that has been using Adsense for years - and this is the second major malicious ad code issue I've had with Google. I honestly don't care who fixes the problem, Adsense or Adwords - because BOTH are Google - Google needs to figure this out and remove these malicious ads. It's impossible to think that if Google had even the slightest inclination to fix this that it would still be an issue. That leaves one to believe Google simply doesn't care in the slightest about the damage they are doing to established websites who promise their visitors that they will be safe on their properties.

screenshot of adwords malicious ad
One more suggestion - each ad you show should have the Adsense category displayed somewhere on it so you can see which of the many different categories a publisher would have to search through to block specific ads. For example, the ads I've named above - would someone from Google be so kind as to list the different categories for each one? Thanks a bunch.

Tim Surgent
www.stripersonline.com/surftalk/

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Malicious advertising

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Interesting...

Well... Google is pretty good at catching these, once the ads are uploaded. The issue to investigate is how the ad units on your site were taken over by offenders, who were able and to upload malicious ad. Only Google has the tools for that.

Please report using this form. This form links directly to Google's malicious content squad,

https://support.google.com/adwords/troubleshooter/4578507

 

(Under "An ad violates other AdWords policies", choose "phishing")

I would also report to the Adsense team;

https://support.google.com/adsense/troubleshooter/1190500?hl=en

 

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Malicious advertising

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Moshe,

The problem with using Google's tools to report the ads is that the URL is redirected multiple times - Google doesn't have the URL where you eventually land. So you report the URL - and never hear back - and the ad is not removed. It's a lengthy, pointless process. Basically, a useless one as well. If there was a way to report the malicious ad AT THE AD - then it would be useful. As it stands you can click on an ad as a visitor - and you can choose from two unhelpful reasons: "ad covers page" or "stop seeing ad". If you click "stop seeing ad" you can choose from three more unhelpful reasons: "inappropriate" - "irrelevant" - "repetitive". Why not something useful like "ad tries to install malicious software on my computer and it's causing my visitors to leave my website costing me guests and money"? That would actually be helpful. 

 

Not to mention when I follow the instructions to the "feedback" form and paste the ad image location the form tells me "to please format this differently". How is it my fault the ad Google is displaying is showing the ad image location as some mile long string that starts with "data:image/gif;base64,"?

 

I sincerely hope there is some other manner of asking Google to remove all the malicious, danger ads from my site. Hell, I've tried to do it myself and have wasted many hours already trying to guess which categories in Adsense to block. So if anyone knows which categories the ads I described in the OP should be found in that would be a great help Smiley Happy

 

I've worked with other networks, they had a grand total of zero malicious ads in 16 years. Google sends me hundreds or thousands each day and I can't figure out how to ask Google to stop.

Re: Malicious advertising

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

@Tim S;

Not sure I fully understand... I report about violations in ads constantly. Once you report the ad you provide the ad click and the final landing page.

You cannot report the ad by clicking on the X (the top right corner)  because, technically, this method does not  allow to to submit the ad-click (essential to the investigation).

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

Re: Malicious advertising

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

When I followed the instructions to copy the image URL I got a string of base64 code - like when you see the code for an image in your email - a page full of base64 characters. I pasted it in the form and it said "please reformat". After wasting another 30 minutes trying to find a different way to get the image URL, I bailed on that feedback form as well.

 

Understand that these ads are malicious - they aren't necessarily serving the creatives Google approved - they certainly aren't landing on the pages they told Google they would land on. So when you report them, it doesn't match - so nothing is done.

 

I'm guessing nothing will change - Google will continue to send malicious ad code to thousands of publishers who will infect their trusting visitors with malware and virus. One day, someone will hold Google responsible. Maybe at that point they'll provide some actual human being contact by which the people who EARN Google's revenue for them by giving Google access to their websites can quickly report malicious ads and Google can actually remove them from circulation.

 

As it is now I'm still seeing them - I've blocked 4 different categories - spent hours blocking various specific ads - spent hours blocking a hundred different malicious domains - and still, here come the malicious ads. It's mind boggling.

Re: Malicious advertising

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

screenshot of adscreenshot of ad

Here's another one - and here's why the provided form doesn't work.

 *Never mind - I can't even upload the image here in this post, lol. It's just an image...I'll try a screenshot of the image...more unexplainable hoops it seems.

**Great, that's the fourth time I tried to attach an image - each time I get a message at the bottom that says "Your post has been changed because invalid HTML was found in the message body. The invalid HTML has been removed. Please review the message and submit the message when you are satisfied"

So you can chalk this form/process up to another one that simply does not work. I've followed every instruction, I used the image attachment button at the top of the reply box - I uploaded the image, didn't add any HTML - and four times the image is removed and I get the message in red at the bottom.  How anyone has the time to use these tools to report malicious ads is absolutely beyond me - if you want to pay Google to advertise it's very simple, but God forbid you try to protect your intellectual property from Google displaying malicious advertising to your guests/members/visitors, you better have a week off...again, it's insane.

 

When you click on it you first go to:

<edited by a Community Manager as noted below> (100% of the current malicious ads take you first to that page - but blocking that domain in Adsense does nothing - they still keep coming)

 

Then you are redirected to:

<edited by a Community Manager as noted below>

 

And finally you land on:

<edited by a Community Manager as noted below>

 

I block each of these domains in Adsense - and the ads keep coming. I cannot find these ads in the "review" section because they don't follow any specific category...where would you look for "your girlfriend is cheating on you" ads? Which section? I'll block the entire section. It's really getting bad, it would be great if Google would make some kind of effort to stop these ads.

 

NOTE: This post has been edited by a Community Manager in order to remove three link which had the potential to put other members at risk. 
 
Per our Community Guidelines, please do not post links to sites that are suspected of - or flagged as having - Malware or other malicious content.

Re: Malicious advertising

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Lol...and after all that, the image shows up...holy crap, you can't make this stuff up.

Re: Malicious advertising

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

And another:

adwords malicious adadwords malicious ad

 

This one routes you through the following domains, in this order: 

 

<edited by a Community Manager as noted below>

 

Of which I have blocked via Adsense - yet the ads still keep coming. If someone clicks on one of these ads they will be infected with:

 

NOTE: This post has been edited by a Community Manager in order to remove four links which had the potential to put other members at risk. 
 
Per our Community Guidelines, please do not post further links to sites that are suspected of - or flagged as having - Malware or other malicious content.

Re: Malicious advertising

Top Contributor
# 9
Top Contributor
this behavior is often the result of an infection
related to the server, device, browser, or all three --
with malware, adware, or similar intrusion software.

disabling any and all browser plug-ins, extensions, and add-ons, and
running both malware and adware detection software on all devices,
and the remote server, may sometimes help to pinpoint the issue.

Re: Malicious advertising

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Except that's not the case - the ads are being displayed by Google Adsense, they aren't browser oriented, it's not a hijack, it's not a compromised server. I have found MANY of these ads in Google Adsense while browsing through the various general - and while in Adsense"Allow & Block" window, clicking on these malicious ads redirects you to the malicious websites. It doesn't happen with other ads, just these malicious ones.

 

Here, I took a few screenshots of the ads I have recently blocked. Mind you, there is just one screenshot for each ad/domain shown here - but EACH one of these ads has a hundred and some two hundred variations that I've also blocked. In other words, scrolling through the "blocked" section of just the "computers" general category right now shows THOUSANDS of these ads blocked. These screenshots just show one page of each ad/domain I've blocked:

 

<edited by a Community manager as noted below>

 

There are more, but honestly, it's getting absurd - I've manually blocked thousands of these ads - they are not coming from my server nor my computer nor a browser hijack - they are being served by Google on my website. I'm not new at this, I've been an admin for 17 years. My guests are reporting the same malicious ads - when I find them on Google's Adsense interface (on a Google server somewhere) and click on the link at the bottom of the ad - the malicious ones redirect me to the same malicious domains and attempt to install the same malicious ad code on my PC or laptop.

 

So unless they have infected my laptop, my PC, many of my visitors AND Google Adsense interface - then they are being served by Google. It's not an infection.

 

If Google is going to continue to allow malicious ad code, could I make a suggestion? Why not just make a new category in Adsense and call it "Malicious Code/Viruses" - and then publishers can simply opt out of infecting their visitors. Short of that, can someone please tell me which categories I would find ads like "Your girlfriend is cheating on you" and "you have (1) private message" so I can continue to manually hunt them down and block them?

 

Ultimately, it would be swell if Google could actually do something about it....which is why I started this discussion - anyone here know how to contact a human being at Google so they can comment? Thanks.

 

NOTE: This post has been edited by a Community Manager in order to remove eight screeenshots which had the potential to put other members at risk. 
 
Per our Community Guidelines, please do not post further images of, or links to, sites that are suspected of - or flagged as having - Malware or other malicious content