Facebook, Google, Twitter, AOL, IAB to work together to protect users from bad ads
Cambridge, Mass., June 14, 2012—StopBadware announced today the launch of the Ads Integrity Alliance, an initiative to protect users from bad ads and maintain trust in the online advertising ecosystem. Charter members of the Alliance include Facebook, Google, Twitter, AOL, and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).
Online advertising has been a driving force in the growth of the Web as a platform for commerce, innovation, and expression. With success have come bad actors that threaten the trust people place in their favorite websites and the advertising infrastructure that supports them. Ad industry leaders have been working hard to protect users from bad ads, including those that deliver malware, direct users to scams, or try to sell counterfeit goods. The Alliance will enhance these efforts by allowing leaders to combine their expertise and raise standards for ad integrity.
“The Ads Integrity Alliance is a natural extension of StopBadware’s mission to make the Web safer by combating badware,” said the nonprofit organization’s executive director, Maxim Weinstein. “No one can address Internet-scale threats on their own, so we’re bringing together industry leading organizations to tackle the problem collaboratively.”
The Ads Integrity Alliance will build on efforts already in place by its members to curtail the proliferation of bad ads. In particular, the Alliance will:
- Develop and share definitions, industry policy recommendations, and best practices
- Serve as a platform for sharing information about bad actors
- Share relevant trends with policymakers and law enforcement agencies
“Bad ads, such as those that facilitate malware distribution or deceive users, diminish the online user experience and threaten trust in the Web,” said Eric Davis, global public policy manager at Google. “The Ads Integrity Alliance will serve as a forum for us to work together to protect users from bad ads and strengthen trust in the advertising ecosystem.”
For more information, visit AdsIntegrityAlliance.org.
StopBadware makes the Web safer through the prevention, mitigation, and remediation of badware websites. It began as a project of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University before spinning off as a standalone nonprofit organization in 2010. Corporate partners include Google, Mozilla, Verizon, PayPal, Verisign, and Qualys. StopBadware is based in Cambridge, Mass. For more information, visit www.stopbadware.org
Commtouch and StopBadware Publish Report on Compromised Websites from Site Owner Perspective
Cambridge, Mass. and Sunnyvale, Calif., Feb. 22, 2012—StopBadware and Commtouch® (Nasdaq: CTCH) today published a joint report titled Compromised Websites: An Owner’s Perspective that chronicles webmasters’ experiences with hacked websites. The report presents statistics and opinions on how site owners navigate the process of learning their sites have been hacked and repairing the damage. The report’s findings are based on a survey Commtouch and StopBadware designed and offered to website owners and webmasters over the course of several months.
Data from the poll reveals that malicious actors are often able to compromise legitimate websites without the site owners’ knowledge: over 90% of respondents didn’t notice any strange activity, despite the fact that their sites were being abused to send spam, host phishing pages, or distribute malware. Nearly two-thirds of the webmasters surveyed didn’t know how the compromise had happened.
Other highlights from analysis of the survey’s responses include:
- About half of site owners discovered the hack when they attempted to visit their own site and received a browser or search engine warning.
- 26% of site owners had not yet figured out how to resolve the problem at the time they completed the survey.
- 40% of survey respondents changed their opinion of their web hosting provider following a compromise.
“Cybercriminals can significantly improve their open and click-through rates by distributing badware via legitimate domains. Many site owners are either unaware of the compromise or struggle to remove the infection, which directly contributes to the persistence of, and increase in active badware URLs.” said Amir Lev, Commtouch’s chief technology officer. “Commtouch does its part to protect end-users, enterprises and service providers from compromised sites with a range of cloud-based email security, Web filtering and antivirus tools.”
“The survey results highlighted several aspects of webmasters’ experience with site compromise that may prove eye-opening for the security community,” said StopBadware Executive Director Maxim Weinstein. “There’s a lack of clarity for webmasters about who’s responsible for site security and where to turn when a website is compromised. Webmasters and the wider Internet community therefore benefit from continual efforts aimed at educating them about their responsibilities and those of their hosting providers.”
The report includes several examples of hacked websites as well as the spam emails that may trick users into visiting these sites. In addition to analysis and quotes from site owners, the report provides tips to help webmasters prevent their sites from being compromised. More details, including an infographic and a brief presentation summarizing the report are available at: http://www.commtouch.com/compromised-websites-report-2012 as well as http://www.stopbadware.org/reports.
Commtouch’s team and representatives of StopBadware will be available at the RSA Conference, Booth 253, from February 28 – March 1 in San Francisco, California to discuss the survey results in person.
StopBadware makes the Web safer through the prevention, mitigation, and remediation of badware websites. It began as a project of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University before spinning off as a standalone nonprofit organization in 2010. Corporate partners include Google, PayPal, Mozilla, Verizon, and Qualys. StopBadware is based in Cambridge, Mass. For more information, visit www.stopbadware.org.
Commtouch® (NASDAQ: CTCH) safeguards the world’s leading security companies and service providers with cloud-based Internet security services. Real-time threat intelligence from Commtouch’s GlobalView™ Cloud powers its Web filtering, email security and antivirus solutions, protecting thousands of organizations and hundreds of millions of users worldwide. Information about Commtouch can be found at http://www.commtouch.com or by writing to email@example.com.
Executive Director Maxim Weinstein accepts prestigious award for organizational commitment to industry collaboration.
Washington, D.C., October 20, 2011—At yesterday’s 6th Annual Online Trust Forum, the Online Trust Alliance honored nonprofit anti-malware organization StopBadware with the 2011 award for Excellence in Organizational Collaboration. The Forum’s Excellence in Online Trust Awards recognize individuals and organizations for exceptional commitment to protecting consumers and critical infrastructure and enhancing trust online. StopBadware’s executive director, Maxim Weinstein, accepted the award on behalf of the organization.
“StopBadware has consistently engaged stakeholders from across the Internet ecosystem in shared efforts to define and implement new ways of protecting users and preserving the Internet’s integrity for all,” said Craig Spiezle, Executive Director of the Online Trust Alliance. “Their commitment to collaboration and openness made them a standout choice for this year’s Excellence in Organizational Collaboration award.”
Since its inception, StopBadware has led efforts to make the Internet ecosystem more resistant, resilient, and responsive to the badware threat. The organization’s current projects include: best practices, developed with the input of cross-industry working groups, that establish expectations and provide guidance for both reporting badware URLs and responding to reports; the opt-in We Stop Badware™ Web Host program for web hosting providers who pledge to follow StopBadware’s best practices and protect customers; a volunteer-led online community, BadwareBusters.org, where webmasters and security experts can get help and learn from one another about badware; and educational pages for webmasters and Internet users about preventing, identifying, and removing badware.
“It’s always been a part of StopBadware’s ethos that protecting users from badware must be a community effort,” said Weinstein. “We’re honored to be recognized for the products of that effort by the OTA, a fellow leader in collaboratively building trust online.”
About The Online Trust Alliance (OTA)
OTA’s mission is to develop and advocate for best practices, training and public policy which mitigate emerging privacy, identity and security threats to online services, brands, government, organizations and consumers. OTA’s goal is to increase consumer protection, transparency and control of their data and online activities, thereby enhancing online trust and confidence and the long-term vitality and innovation of Internet-based services. For more information about OTA, please visit: https://otalliance.org.
StopBadware provides tools and information that assist industry and policymakers in meeting their responsibility to protect users from badware, and that help users protect themselves. It began as a project of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University before spinning off as a standalone nonprofit organization in 2010. Corporate partners include Google, PayPal, Mozilla, Verizon, and Qualys. StopBadware is based in Cambridge, Mass. For more information, visit www.stopbadware.org.
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