Criminals spreading malware through Google ads in search results

One way cybercriminals spread is through apps. We’re always warning you about apps hiding malware and to keep them off your devices. Tap or click here for a recent example of malicious apps making the rounds.

But hiding malware-infested apps in app stores is just one technique. In a worrying trend, scammers are now weaponizing Google results to get malware on your device. They are creating malicious to get victims to click on links that lead to sites that infect their devices.

Read on to see how the scheme works and what you can do about it.

Here’s the backstory

If you have spent time on Google, you have undoubtedly seen advertising inserted between search results. The prime location for paid advertising or promoted links is at the top of the first page of results. That’s what most people see first.

But just because it looks like a Google ad doesn’t mean it’s legit. Cybersecurity company Malwarebytes recently made several discoveries where scammers pay for top-tier advertising. What’s frightening is links in those ads lead to malware-infested websites.

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