“Half overlay ads on free streaming sites is evil ‘




The KU Leuven Research iMinds connected together with the American Stony Brook University conducted a study on the risks of free live stream sites. It shows that fifty percent of the overlay ads on those sites is evil.

To conduct the research, universities have a semi-automatic tool developed with which they identified the live stream sites. That way, they found a total of 23,000 sites offering include streams of live and sporting events. The sites were to unite under 5600 domain names, whose twenty percent occurs in the Alexa rankings of the 100,000 most popular websites on the internet. But the researchers cite any examples.

The researchers visited these names a total of 850,000 times, yielding a data set of more than 1TB. From this they made that half of all overlay ads redirect visitors to malicious sites that spread malware. Such an overlay can comprise, for example a false shut-off button that can be seen above the playback window of the stream, so the researchers explain. A visitor clicks on it, he is redirected and prompted him to install software. Often pretends this malware to be necessary for those who want to view the stream.

The malicious web pages often look like the streaming site itself in an attempt to trick the visitor, say the researchers. Moreover, it was found that Chrome and Safari are vulnerable to these attacks than other browsers. Zubair Rafique, a researcher at the Computer Science department at the University of Leuven, this phenomenon explains that attackers target the most popular browsers. The investigation also showed that contain anti-adblockscripts livestream sites, which detect adblockers and try to turn it off.

Adblockers are generally a helpful defense against malicious ads. The researchers have developed a tool to warn visitors of risky sites. This can also be used by other researchers to detect and identify live stream sites. worry about the precise operation of the tool, the researchers unknown. They announce only the wish to make this available in the future to the public. At present, the only tool available to students of the KU Leuven.


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