Posted April 27, 2007 10:02 am by with 1 comment

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Google finds itself under fire again for helping to spread viruses and malware through AdWords.

Researchers at security software maker Exploit Prevention Labs have uncovered evidence that malware distributors are using Google AdWords to infect computers.

Exploit’s CTO, Roger Thompson said his team discovered many AdWords ads posing as legitimate ads, but then redirecting to more sinister content. He blames Google’s model of taking money first and asking questions later.

“Google says they are doing the best that they can, but their business model is to take as much money as they can for advertisements. No matter how much due diligence they do, it’s a difficult position to be in, but clearly they are not doing enough,” Thompson said.

“If they don’t do a better job of vetting their customers, we will see this sort of thing happening again and again.”

Google’s response?

Google said it had canceled the affected advertisements after it was informed of the situation. “We actively work to detect and remove sites that serve malware to our users both in our ad network and in our search results,” the company said.

Before we all freak out, and vow never to click an ad again, just remember that these are mostly isolated incidents and hyped a little by a company that sells virus protection software for a living.

  • In truth, it wouldn’t be commercially viable to vet each and every advert that went through the system. The whole process is self-correcting however, people will report in any infractions and the system will correct itself.