IcedID Botnet Distributors Abuse Google PPC to Distribute Malware

After closely tracking the activities of the IcedID botnet, Trend Micro researchers have discovered some significant changes in its distribution methods. Since December 2022, Trend Micro observed the abuse of Google pay per click (PPC) ads to distribute IcedID via malvertising attacks. This IcedID variant is detected by Trend Micro as TrojanSpy.Win64.ICEDID.SMYXCLGZ.

Advertising platforms like Google Ads enable businesses to display advertisements to target audiences for the purpose of boosting traffic and increasing sales. Malware distributors abuse the same functionality in a technique known as malvertising, wherein chosen keywords are hijacked to display malicious ads that lure unsuspecting search engine users to downloading malware.

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Source: Trend Micro