Chapter | Beautiful Security | 2009

Online Advertising: Rustlers and Sheriffs in the New Wild West

by Benjamin Edelman


Read the news of recent computer security guffaws, and it's striking how many problems stem from online advertising. Advertising is the bedrock of web sites that are provided without charge to end users, so advertising is everywhere. But advertising security gaps are equally widespread: from "malvertisement" banner ads pushing rogue anti-spyware software, to click fraud, to spyware and adware, the security lapses of online advertising are striking.

During the past five years, I have uncovered hundreds of online advertising scams defrauding thousands of users—not to mention all the web's top merchants. This chapter summarizes some of what I've found—and what users and advertisers can do to protect themselves.

Keywords: Misleading and Fraudulent Advertising; Online Advertising; Crime and Corruption; Ethics;


Edelman, Benjamin. "Online Advertising: Rustlers and Sheriffs in the New Wild West." In Beautiful Security, edited by John Viega. O'Reilly Media, Inc., 2009. (Korean translation.)