SUNNYVALE, CA--(Marketwired - Feb 26, 2014) - Proofpoint, Inc. (NASDAQ: PFPT), a leading security-as-a-service provider, today announced the launch of new protection against malvertising (malicious advertising), a technique attackers have used to invisibly penetrate computers of visitors to legitimate websites. Proofpoint's malvertising solution addresses this threat in two ways. For publishers, ad networks, servers, exchanges, optimizers, and demand-side platforms (DSPs), Proofpoint Malvertising Protection™ tracks the flow of malvertisements and warns owners about problematic ad networks. For Enterprises, Proofpoint Targeted Attack Protection™ prevents malvertising infection of vulnerable site-visiting employees and warns IT teams of the suspect sites. As more and more business-related sites carry advertisements, and attackers increasingly leverage the online ads ecosystem to target users, the security implications of malvertising are significant for publishers and Enterprises alike.
In 2013, it was estimated that more than 10 billion online ad impressions were compromised by malvertisingi, including ads served to visitors of such well-known sites as The New York Times, the London Stock Exchange, and Yahooii. Google alone is cited as having disabled more than 400,000 malvertising-serving sites in 2013, more than 300 percent from the prior yeariii. Publishers are challenged because malvertising can be very difficult to discover: creatives are bid and exchanged in real-time, and delivered by servers at different sites, and sourced from different networks according to different visitor attributes, which are in turn sourced through brokers and other parties -- so it is very difficult to establish ad legitimacy at time of delivery. Enterprises are challenged because of the prevalence of ads and specificity of targeting; employees often must visit ad-bearing industry-related sites in the course of their job, but such sites target ads based on visitor information, making attackers' jobs easier. The result is a world where a visitor to a legitimate website can have their computer security breached without ever knowing they've been compromised, and where even after being alerted of a malvertising campaign, publishers and networks are still unable to easily identify the problematic chain.
"While the industry has developed technologies to protect against targeted offensives leveraging advanced malware, attackers have continued to evolve their tactics in an attempt to stay ahead of defenses," said John Grady, Program Manager, Security Products at IDC. "Watering-hole attacks leveraging malicious ad content on otherwise trusted sites are one such example. Enterprises suffer breaches as a result of these attacks, while the content providers unknowingly hosting altered ads lose brand equity and user trust. Proofpoint's Malvertising Protection and enhanced Targeted Attack Protection solutions address this common issue for both constituencies."
For Publishers and Demand Side Platforms, Proofpoint Malvertising Protection (based on technology from Proofpoint's acquisition of Armorize) analyzes not only the ad tags, but also the creative and the actual impressions served, providing unique insight into the entire ad chain and precisely pinpointing the problematic party within the larger ecosystem. This approach to protection ensures that ads are authentic and unaltered, and that impressions are compliant with brand safety standards, ensuring safer and higher quality ad inventory and overall ad-ecosystem security. For Enterprises, Proofpoint Targeted Attack Protection prevents malvertising infection of site-visiting employees and warns IT teams of the suspect site. By using big-data analysis and advanced statistical modeling to proactively perform advanced dynamic malware analysis on potentially suspicious URLs, Proofpoint's predictive defense capabilities can detect malvertising even on legitimate sites, and even before employees click links. The Targeted Attack Protection solution's real-time dashboard and "follow-me" protection also provide an ongoing view into and defense against these attacks. This reduced time-to-detection and end-to-end insight and protection enables proactive protection of an organization's users, minimizing computer compromises within the enterprise, and reducing incident response time, effort, and costs.
"Malvertising is clearly a huge and growing problem, and we're pleased to introduce the industry's first two-factor solution for web site owners and targeted Enterprises," said David Knight, executive vice president and general manager of Proofpoint's Information Security Products Group. "Attackers prey on complexity and obscurity -- and we believe that Proofpoint Malvertising Protection and Proofpoint Targeted Attack Protection cut through both, providing unprecedented levels of visibility and security."
For more details on Proofpoint's Malvertising Protection solution for web sites please visit proofpoint.com/map -- for Proofpoint's Targeted Attack Protection solution for Enterprises, please visit proofpoint.com/tap
About Proofpoint, Inc.
Proofpoint Inc. (NASDAQ: PFPT) is a leading security-as-a-service provider that focuses on cloud-based solutions for threat protection, compliance, archiving & governance, and secure communications. Organizations around the world depend on Proofpoint's expertise, patented technologies and on-demand delivery system to protect against phishing, malware and spam, safeguard privacy, encrypt sensitive information, and archive and govern messages and critical enterprise information. More information is available at www.proofpoint.com.
Proofpoint, Malvertising Protection, and Targeted Attack Protection are trademarks or registered trademarks of Proofpoint, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.
i Computer Fraud and Security: 11-16. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
ii Lenny Zeltser on Information Security. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
iii Newest Hacker Target: Ads - New York Times, 1/31/14