Fifteen to 30 percent of eCommerce site visitors are infected with client side injected malware (CSIM), according to whitepaper from Namogoo, an online security firm that monitors numerous verticals throughout the U.S. and Europe.
Although legally the company can't identify the sites it monitors, Namogoo said they are among some of the most popular travel sites.
"We didn't expect to see such an increase in the infection rate in such a short time. We were surprised about the scale of the problem and also about the variety of different types of client-side Injected Malware," Namogoo co-founder and CEO Chemi Katz told SCMagazine.com in an email correspondence.
Namogoo identified over 25,000 injector signatures with an average of 200 new ones appearing daily. Injected ads made an estimated $7 billion in revenue last year, Katz said. There are plenty of ways average users can fall victim to the malicious software.
"We even see anti-virus companies using their software to secretly infect consumers with CSIM. It's a startling but unfortunate truth," Katz said in a release. "Because it's an easy way to make a buck, struggling anti-virus companies have given in to the dubious practice in order to stay alive, although we think it's quickly becoming evident in the eyes of the public".
Katz told SCMagazine.com that researchers recognized over five percent of either direct injections, or injections were caused by other malicious malware that is bundled with anti-virus installs.
In the last six months attacks have increased by 20 percent, researchers said this is a sign that attackers are becoming more aggressive. Certain industries such as travel and luxury goods have seen more concentrated effort in the use of the malware as users have been more likely click the false ads and make larger purchases when visiting these sites.
To prevent the malware from siphoning revenue and disrupting a websites visitor experience Namogoo recommended that organizations raise awareness among stakeholders in companies of the risk and invest in end to end point security solutions designed to handle CSIM threats.