As usual in the end of each month we post a list of the most noticeable technology company acquisitions.
The first day of March was rich in M&As. The first name of the company is those who acquired and the second one is who was acquired correspondingly. Let’s start with e-Zest Solutions.
Advertising is a fact of life on the internet, but many users have taken to using ad-blocking software to cleanup their web browsing experience. It’s not hard to see why — ads can be annoying. Forbes recently took a stand against ad-blocking and forced users who wanted to view its content to disable their ad-blockers. It then promptly served them malware ads (sometimes called malvertising). Oops.
In this case, the malicious ad opened a new browser tab thatappeared to be a Java update window. It popped up a dialog script that warned the user that his or her software was out of date, and they ought to hit OK to rectify that. If you’ve been on the internet for any length of time, this will seem very fishy. It’s a common way for malware to install itself on your system.
The malware itself isn’t necessarily Forbes’ fault. Like most websites, Forbes uses third-party advertising networks to serve ads. It’s a complex undertaking to roll your own fully vetted ad solution, so most sites don’t do it. Other organizations have been victim of the same sort of malware ads that infiltrated a legitimate ad network. The difference in this case being that Forbes basically forced all its users to expose themselves to the danger.
Most websites, like this one, are free and rely upon advertising revenue to survive. If you look at it from the perspective of a web publisher, you can probably understand the concern over ad-blocking. Subscription services are incredibly hard to succeed with, and just asking users to disable ad-blockers is rarely successful. Still, when ad networks let malware slip through like this, it makes it harder to convince people to put up with your ads. Forbes just exacerbated the problem by making people disable ad-blockers.