Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Business
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Congress warns tech firms to better protect against malicious ads or risk new federal rules

WASHINGTON - The Senate warned Google, Yahoo and other leading technology companies Thursday they need to better protect consumers from hackers exploiting their lucrative online advertising networks or risk new legislation that would force them to do so.

In a new investigative report, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said hackers in some cases are infecting computers using software or programming commands hidden inside online advertisements. It suggested tougher U.S. regulations or new laws that could punish the ad networks in addition to prosecuting the hackers.

The subcommittee highlighted a December 2013 incident in which an Internet user visited a mainstream website and had all of her personal information stolen via an ad on Yahoo's network. Even worse: She didn't have to click on it to deliver a virus that gobbled up her information. And as many as 2 million others may have been exposed to the attack.

The online advertising industry has grown complicated "to such an extent that each party can conceivably claim it is not responsible when malware is delivered to a user's computer through an advertisement," the Senate report said.

The panel said it found no evidence that Google or Yahoo's ad networks are more vulnerable to malware attacks than other major ones. It said the industry as a whole remains vulnerable to such forms of attack.

Several bills in Congress aimed at strengthening Internet privacy and security have stalled, and there currently is no federal data-privacy law for Internet companies. One measure, the 2011 Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act, would have allowed the Federal Trade Commission to require security measures for sites that collect personal information.

___

Follow Jack Gillum on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jackgillum

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Sudden Surge: Flood of 2014
Opportunity Magazine — The Bakken
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media

Canadian Mortgage Rates