An AdWords Exploit has been put to rest recently by Google after scammers running “smarttrack.org” attempted to capture users banking details and other private information.
At Inside Adwords, the official AdWords Blog, a post was noted late last month regarding the problem.
“On Tuesday, April 24th, Google identified and canceled AdWords accounts displaying ads that re-directed users to malicious sites. These sites attempted to install malware onto users’ computers. This is an issue we’ve taken very seriously and will continue to monitor. We are also evaluating our systems to ensure that the appropriate measures are in place to block future attempts.”
The post goes on to note that Google actively works to detect and remove sites involved in malware, from both their paid and organic listings.
At PC World, Matthew Broersma describes what occurred in some more detail. In essence the attack worked by creating seemingly legitimate ads; when a user searched for the paid phrase, an ad would appear for a variety of well known brands, including such names as the BBB.
When the user clicked on the ad created by the hacker, they were redirected through a URL located at “smarttrack.org” before being directed to the legitimate source, with nothing appearing out of the ordinary. During the redirect however, the “site used a modified MDAC exploit to attempt to install a backdoor and a post-logger on to the user’s system.”