Advertising greases the wheels of commerce. Where would we be without advertising? TV would cost more. YouTube would not be free. Many websites would cease to exist. Advertising makes it happen, folks.
So, why would anyone want to block advertising? We do it all the time by skipping over TV ads with the DVR. We skip the YouTube ads as quickly as we can. Ads are everywhere, often intrusive, and most of us don’t bat an eye to feel guilty when we skip ads.
Block Me, Baby
How about ad blockers while browsing the interwebs? Because so many websites have such intrusive advertising, online users have adopted ad blockers en masse. Is ad blocking good for websites? No. Is ad blocking good for users? Yes.
Malware. Catalin Cimpanu:
A cyber-criminal group known as ScamClub has hijacked over 300 million browser sessions over 48 hours to redirect users to adult and gift card scams
We’re not talking the toxic hell stew of Android smartphones. These are browser sessions captured from iPhone users. What happened?
The code used by the ScamClub group hijacked a user’s browsing session from a legitimate site, where the ad was showing, and redirected victims through a long chain of temporary websites, a redirection chain that eventually ended up on a website pushing an adult-themed site or a gift card scam.
This kind of malware doesn’t infect your iPhone’s browser, but it redirects Safari to malicious websites. Scammers buy legitimate advertising on various websites, and once viewed by unsuspecting iPhone users, goes into action and redirects the browser session to dubious and scurrilous websites which profit via malware.
While ad blockers are commonly installed with desktop-based browsers, they are not that common with mobile browsers, hence the reason why this particular campaign targeted iOS users. Ad blockers for both Android and iOS have been available for download for years, from different companies, but most mobile users aren’t yet accustomed to installing one on their smartphones as they do on their desktops.
About 25-percent of all Mac visitors to my personal website– TeraTalks— have ad blockers installed when they visit my site and Mac360, and I understand the sentiment. The ads on TeraTalks are targeted to Apple customers, and they’re embedded so not easily blocked, yet malicious ads that target mobile devices users sounds like a good reason to have an ad blocker on your iPhone, too.
I use the free Ghostery on my Mac and a variety of ad blockers on iPhone and iPad, including 1Blocker and Ad Block Multi (I’m a control freak and I like settings). Since malware seems to infect iPhone and iPad users, too, a little paranoia is a good attitude to have.