A widespread attack has exposed millions to malware that holds files to ransom. The campaign, which was first detected a month ago, placed fake adverts on websites such as Yahoo, AOL and The Atlantic that installed so-called “ransomware” onto a victim’s computer. The attackers stole assets from the likes of Case Logic, Bing and Fancy in order to make the malicious ads appear real, but once a computer becomes infected, things get very bad, very fast, for victims.
The ransomware — named CryptoWall 2.0 — uses Adobe Flash to exploit browser vulnerabilities, installing itself on the affected computer. It then sets about encrypting files on the users’ hard drive, refusing access to said files until the victim pays for a decryption key. The fee, said to be equivalent to $500, is requested in Bitcoin, and security firm Proofpoint, which first noticed the attack, estimates that the attackers’ are currently raking in $25,000 from victims. As Bitcoin wallets are public, Proofpoint is able to analyze the incoming payments to each of the attackers’ accounts. One of the Bitcoin wallets was in use for just 5 days and managed to pull in the equivalent of $9,350.
This latest breach highlights the dangers of malware online. Earlier this year a similar attack targeted Synology storage servers, ransoming mostly small business data for around $350. How do you stay safe? There’s no way to ensure a computer is 100 percent secure, but keeping all your software up-to-date with the latest security patches is a good start. Most modern browsers can also be setup to only open plugins such as Flash when content is clicked on, which would eliminate the risk of being infected by this particular attack.
Filed under: Internet
Despite some recent company efforts to help pay for customers’ phone bills through promotions and subscription programs, the telecommunication industry largely relies on customers using more phone data each year — through new applications and innovations — to keep its sales growing, according to The Wall Street Journal. And this is no more apparent than when you see how cell phone bills have risen since the dawn of the smartphone.
Based on data from the Labor Department charted for us by BI Intelligence, US households are spending 50% more on their phone bills than they did in 2007, the year the iPhone launched and Google introduced the Android operating system for mobile devices. Households spent an average of $913 on phone bills in 2013 — and a fifth of those households spent more than $1,400 that year. According to Verizon Wireless, the average monthly phone bill is about $161.24, which is a 3.5% rise from last year.
drag2share: Mobile Video Advertising Is Taking Off, As Ad Buyers Pile Billions Of Dollars Into Small-Screen Ads
Mobile is growing faster than all other digital advertising mediums in the US, but one mobile format in particular is catching ad buyers’ eyes: Mobile video.
- Mobile video ad revenue in the US will top over $4.4 billion in 2018, up by a five-year compound annual growth rate of 73% from 2013.
- Mobile video ads will grow almost five-times faster than desktop: For comparison, desktop video ad revenue will grow by a CAGR of only 15% during the same time period.
- Display, including rich-media ads, will grow even faster, propelled by the migration of desktop ads to mobile, which is where audiences are today. But the advantage of mobile video is that it can absorb advertisers’ video ad assets created for larger screens.
These insights are from a new BI Intelligence report on mobile advertising, which includes an exclusive forecast of the segments of the mobile ad market and how fast they will grow. These include display, video, social, and search. The report provides exclusive breakdowns on how spend on each format will grow and why, and examines the overall performance of mobile ads. It also looks at how programmatic ad-buying tools, including real-time bidding, are reshaping mobile advertising.
You’ve probably heard of the Nielsen Ratings, which are the figures relating to the number of people who watch a particular TV series. It’s these statistics that Hollywood uses to decide if your favorite show gets a second season or if it’ll only live on in fan fiction. Unfortunately, with more and more entertainment being delivered online, a TV ratings company isn’t much use to anyone. That’s why Nielsen has teamed up with Adobe to begin rating pretty much everything on the internet. By splicing Nielsen’s audience know-how with Adobe’s online analytics and video tools, the pair promise to be able to work out which gets more attention: news websites, social media, blogs or that video of the cat running head-first into a glass door. The system will go live at some point in 2015 with Sony, ESPN and Viacom already saying that they’ll be signing up, hopefully so that we can finally find out, once and for all, if anything is more enjoyable than that video of the cat running head-first into the glass door.
Filed under: Internet
There’s no doubt that business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers are using content marketing. In an August 2014 study by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs, 77% of B2C marketers in North America reported doing so. And responses indicated that marketers were getting more effective at the tactic: 37% said their organizations were effective at content marketing, up from 34% last year and 32% three years ago.
What metrics are most common for evaluating content marketing success? Website traffic remained the most pop! ular met ric for assessing content efforts, cited by 62% of B2C marketers. Fully 54% of respondents looked at sales, and conversion rates arrived on the scene. Actual time spent on the website and qualitative feedback from clients fell in importance.
Still, B2C marketers surveyed were struggling to measure content marketing efforts. Just 23% said they were successful at determining return on investment (ROI). In comparison, 32% of respondents were unsuccessful, and more than one-fifth weren’t even trying to track ROI. Similarly, measuring content effectiveness was the top content marketing challenge, cited by 51% of respondents.
Results from April 2014 polling by Forrester Consulting are in line with this. Among US digital marketing decision-makers studied, 52% cited challenges measuring ROI as a hurdle to content marketing—the second-highest response.
Source: Adobe [pdf]
Notes: Few videos were watched to full completion during Q2, reports Adobe, although videos viewed on desktops were 3 times more likely than those viewed on mobile devices to reach 75% completion. Separately, the study finds that mobile devices were responsible for more than 1 in 4 video starts in Q2 (26.6%), up from 18.6% a year earlier.
Source: Advertiser Perceptions
Notes: Mobile advertising spending is growing apace, but are these budgets incremental or coming from other sources? According to a new report from Advertiser Perceptions, print budgets are most susceptible to cannibalization, as 41% of respondents (all representing large advertisers and all with some involvement in mobile a! dvertisi ng) are using these budgets to fund additional mobile advertising dollars. Mobile ad funding is also coming from an overall expansion of advertising budgets (38%), TV ad budgets (34%) and digital display budgets (32%). Few advertisers are using their video or social budgets to fund increased mobile advertising, though.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have teamed up to release their latest US internet advertising revenue report [pdf], with this latest edition covering activity in the first half of the year. The study details the continued growth of mobile ad spending, which comprised almost one-quarter (23%) of total online ad spend.
In fact, mobile is now the second-largest online advertising format in the US, having overtaken desktop banner ads (17% share) during H1 en route to roughly $3 billion in revenues. Search remains the top format, but its influence appears to be waning: its 39% share of revenues in H1 is down from 43% last year and 48% the year before. However, those figures only represent desktop search. Indeed, search accounts for 51% share of mobile ad revenues. In other words, combining desktop and mobile search means that, overall, search comprised roughly 51% of online ad revenues.
Almost 9 in 10 consumers want more meaningful relationships with brands, yet fewer than 1 in 5 believe brands are delivering on that wish, details Edelman in its second annual “brandshare” report. The study, based on surveys of 15,000 consumers in 12 countries who have had some level of engagement with brands, also finds that consumers believe they get the short end of the stick when it comes to the value exchange with brands.
Some two-thirds of respondents believe that brands that ask them to share with them (such as personal information or stories) don’t share with them in return, labeling it a one-sided rather than shared relationship. Moreover, 7 in 10 feel that brands have a self-centered desire to incr! ease pro fits rather than a sincere commitment to their customers.
With such skepticism evident, the Edelman survey identifies several areas in which brands can improve in order to build and maintain effective connections with consumers. For example, while 78% of respondents feel it’s important (top-2 box on a 5-point scale) that brands respond quickly to people’s concerns and complaints, just 17% feel that brands perform well in this respect. And while 59% believe it important that brands give consumers many ways to ask questions and give opinions, only 18% feel that brands are delivering in this area.
Earlier this month, approximate 76 million households—or roughly half of the households in America—were unhappy to hear their JPMorgan Chase accounts had been compromised
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
Collaborators – Digital Profs
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