Update (12/18/2017): Upon review, we have decided to lift the block on those two ad servers. You can read ExoClick’s comments below:
At Exoclick we use large resources to ensure that the ads that we serve are clear, clean and issue free. Where malwares and other forms of malvertising are detected through our internal tools we take down the offending ad fast within 15 minutes and effectively ban the advertiser or individual(s) responsible. We are one of the quickest in the industry to isolate and kill any infection and have strict policies against this.
There is a belief that most of what you’ll find on adult websites is going to harm your system. In many cases, this has proven to be true, but overall the adult industry has made numerous efforts to protect their customers and audience. While we would like to tell you that it’s completely safe to surf adult websites these days, we do still need to stay vigilant. That’s why Malwarebytes has started blocking two new domains that are ad servers often seen in adult traffic:
What you are likely seeing when you are doing some adult…research.
The reason why we are preventing traffic to any of those hostnames is based on reports from our customers of malicious redirects and fraud, and our own collection tools—and has nothing to do with the fact that these are sites serving porn. For example, here is a redirection from main.exosrv[.]com, which takes users to a fake online pharmacy website:
Here at Malwarebytes, we do our best to protect users by blocking not just malicious sites, but also scam sites, with fake pharmaceutical sites being one of the most common we encounter. Due to this, ads.exosrv[.]com has become our top malicious URL detection, totaling over 4 million blocks in one day, which is due to the huge amount of traffic the main domain receives.
Breakdown of blocks for this domain by country
Our goal at Malwarebytes continues to be the protection of our users, which is why we are taking an aggressive approach on blocking certain ad networks stepping over the line. Visiting adult sites is perfectly legal. Getting scammed on account of it is not.
Beyond keeping an up-to-date security solution installed on your system (like Malwarebytes), it’s advised to do the following when surfing any website:
- Utilize an ad blocker to keep malicious advertisements away from your system.
- Utilize a script blocker to keep malicious scripts from running in your browser. (Many ad blockers do this, too.)
- Utilize safe or private browsing tools so less of your personal information is provided to websites.
- Keep some kind of anti-exploit technology running in the background to prevent drive-by exploits from infecting your system. Malwarebytes also has this functionality baked into it.
- Don’t follow the white rabbit! Visit websites that are known and trusted, have high reviews and/or are easy to find. The worst stuff online usually won’t be found by clicking on a Google link.
Thanks for reading!