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Anti-malware

RoughTed: The anti ad-blocker malvertiser

May 25, 2017 by Jérôme Segura

 

                                             RoughTed: The anti ad-blocker malvertiser

 

RoughTed is a large malvertising operation that peaked in March 2017 but has been going on for at least well over a year. It is unique for its considerable scope ranging from scams to exploit kits, targeting a wide array of users via their operating system, browser, and geolocation to deliver the appropriate payload.

 

We estimate that the traffic via RoughTed related domains accumulated to over half a billion hits and was responsible for many successful compromises due to effective techniques that triage visitors and bypass ad-blockers.

 

The threat actors behind RoughTed have been leveraging the Amazon cloud infrastructure, in particular, its Content Delivery Network (CDN), while also blending in the noise with multiple ad redirections from several ad exchanges, making it more difficult to identify the source of their malvertising activity.

 

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