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14+ Malvertising Statistics, Facts, & Trends

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Malvertising, otherwise known as malicious advertising, is a fast-growing cyber security threat where bad actors use online advertisements to spread malware and compromise systems across the globe.

It has also been known to harm a publisher’s ad revenue and traffic.

Just what kind of impact does malvertising have on the advertisement industry?

Read these malvertising statistics to help you stay on top of this emerging threat.

Interesting Malvertising Statistics

1. 1 in every 100 ads in 2022 was infected with malicious content.

The Australian advertising industry also lost $1.1 billion annually to this menace.

2. In 2022, Google stopped 5.2 billion bad ads.

Additionally, it restricted 4.3 billion ads and suspended 6.7 million advertiser accounts.

google stopped bad ads
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3. In 2021, 8% of ads on a piracy website were linked to fraud or malware.

There was also a 2% unidentified ad share which might have contained more malware.

4. 74% of malvertising on piracy websites in 2021 was supplied via the Revenuehits ad network.

5. In 2022, 0.44% of Windows’ Edge browser users experienced ad security issues.

This was the highest rate across different surveyed browsers. The Chrome browser had the least ad security issues at 0.17%.

Malvertising Statistics by Category

6. 11% of ads on piracy apps in 2021 were fraudulent and contained malware.

Meanwhile, another 11% were unidentifiable, which could also include malware or fraudulent bearings.

Ad Type Percentage Share
Other brands 54%
Major brands 24%
Fraud and malware 11%
Unidentifiable ads 11%
Adult <1%
Sponsored content <1%

7. Gambling and pharmaceutical ads were the most blocked ad categories worldwide.

In 2022, the gambling and pharmaceutical ad categories represented over 50% of all ad blocks globally.

Ad Category Percentage Share
Gambling 42%
Pharmaceutical 14%
Alcoholic Beverages 9%
Health & Medical Services 5%
Cryptocurrency 4%
Political Advertising 3%
Underwear & Lingerie 2%
Sexual Health 2%
Others 17%

Malvertising Attack Statistics

8. In 2021, malvertising attacks peaked on the weekends.

Friday and Saturday showed the highest violation rates of 0.126% and 0.116%, respectively, out of all the other days of the week.

Day of the Week Violation Rate
Monday 0.106%
Tuesday 0.115%
Wednesday 0.109%
Thursday 0.113%
Friday 0.126%
Saturday 0.116%
Sunday 0.105%

9. 1 in every 140 ad impressions in 2022 was dangerous or disruptive to users.

In comparison, 1 in every 260 was malicious in 2020. In 2021, 1 in every 125 ad impressions was malicious.

10. The malvertising security violation rate rose to 0.21% in 2022.

It rose from 0.14% in 2020 to 0.11% in 2021 and 0.21% in 2022.

It also grew from 0.17% in Q3 to 0.22% in Q4.

Malvertising Financial Impact Statistics

11. In 2022, the Revenue attribution platform, PubPlus, lost 3% of its monthly revenue to malvertising.

PubPlus was dealing with malicious redirects that were causing a loss of 50% of page views per user session for their client sites.

revenue loss in pubplus due to malvertising
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12. In 2021, piracy apps and websites made an annual revenue of $1.34 billion, some of which included malvertising.

The top websites made $1.08 billion, with the top 5 generating $18.3 million from illegal advertising.

Malvertising Trends

13. Malvertising attacks tend to surge during popular holidays such as Labour Day.

In Q3 2021, malvertising threat levels spiked 231%, with 93% of this surge happening on the eve of Labour Day.

14. In 2023, Rhadamanthys and Redline used Google’s ad service to deliver malvertising to internet users.

The malvertising groups create illegitimate versions of legitimate software websites and use Google Ads to promote their work to unsuspecting users.

Protect Yourself From Malvertising Attempts

Malvertising is so sophisticated that launching a compromised web page is enough to infect your device or system.

To avoid malvertising attacks, only visit and shop from legitimate websites and vendors. Additionally, invest in a premium ad blocker and stay up-to-date with updates (software, browsers, etc.).

If you loved the statistics above, check out our latest ransomware statistics roundup for more insights into the cybersecurity landscape.

Interesting Reads:
References:
  1. https://www.publift.com/blog/malvertising
  2. https://www.clean.io/blog/holiday-preparedness-malvertising-shifts-signal-volatile-holiday-season
  3. https://www.clean.io/blog/data-snacks-labor-day
  4. https://services.google.com/fh/files/misc/2022_google_ads_safety_report.pdf
  5. https://www.humansecurity.com/learn/case-studies/pubplus
  6. https://www.digitalcitizensalliance.org/issues/breaking-bads
  7. https://www.confiant.com/news/2023-maq-pr
  8. https://securelist.com/malvertising-through-search-engines/108996/