Malvertising (a portmanteau of “malicious advertising”) is the use of online advertising to spread malware. Online advertisements provide a solid platform for spreading malware because significant effort is put into them in order to attract users and sell or advertise the product. Because advertising content can be inserted into high-profile and reputable websites, malvertising provides malefactors an opportunity to push their attacks to web users who might not otherwise see the ads, due to firewalls, more safety precautions, or the like.
Malvertising is attractive to attackers because they can be easily spread across a large number of legitimate websites without directly compromising those websites. Using this vector can bypass the network security in place.