Pop-up ads have actually long to be the scourge the the internet. But the increase of advertisement blockers, plus anti-pop-up moves by Google and Firefox had offered us hope the those days would soon be behind us.

So why are even the most tech-savvy among us beginning to check out ads show up congratulating united state for being "selected together a winner" of a $1,000 Amazon gift card?

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If you've found yourself staring at one of these ads on your phone and also you have no idea how it happened, it's since of a "forced redirect" on the webpage, caused by a malware-like manuscript running in among the ads on the page. Needless to say, the gift card sell is nearly guaranteed to be a scam.Credit:

The pop-ups in question show up on both smartphone and desktops, promise a compensation in exchange for your personal information or a few clicks. They space is undeniably annoying, and quite plainly a scam.

Neither Android no one iPhone users are safe, and also some frustrated web denizens room at their wits" end.

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What"s happening

The factor some of these pop-up ads might be getting about your ad blockers: lock aren"t normal ads.

Cybersecurity firm Symantec has identified one specific strain that malware hiding in apps, Android.Fakeyouwon, the its researchers say is fueling these species of scams ~ above Android devices.

Infected applications "hide themselves together legitimate apps in domains such as settings apps (Panel Settings), or apps the play music because that free," the researchers wrote.

"Apps will likewise ask because that the minimum amount of permissions, so as no to concern more discerning individuals on installation."

What"s more, it"s likely not just malware in malicious apps ruining your day. Something called forced redirects could additionally be in ~ play.

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"A forced redirect is once a human being is surfing the internet on a computer system or mobile device and through no activity of their own gets redirected come a different website," follow to the anti-malware firm Confiant.

"Usually the website they are redirected come is a vehicle for some type of affiliate fraud or malware."

Ed Ho, Twitter"s basic Manager of the customer Product and also Engineering Group, tweeted a collection of questions about this an extremely practice.

"What is interesting to me: 1) What advertisement network is this to run through, and why don"t castle know?" Ho said us. "2) Why is it the Safari top top iOS shows up to be vulnerable to this attack? 3) What is the actual vulnerability?"

Confiant determined one together network the so-called "malvertising" in January the this year, and also found that it affiliated the production of "28 fake advertisement agencies to distribution malvertising campaigns."

In short, this is a advanced fraud network the is mucking up her browsing.

There"s hope

Thankfully, all is not lost. Google plan to relax a variation of Chrome that stops forced redirects in January, yet according come USA today as of February that attribute had been driven to a mid-April release.

Still, that method it is really much on the company"s radar, and a Firefox web browser extension currently does this an extremely thing.

Once blocking compelled redirects becomes the norm across browsers, both mobile and also desktop, this "Congratulations" ads should decline. However, few of the responsibility falls on you, too.

After all, a internet browser update isn"t necessarily going to protect against malware-riddled apps indigenous screwing through your browsing. Girlfriend can, and also should, regular go with your phone and also delete old, little-used, or just plain sketchy-looking apps.

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As girlfriend do, take comfort in the truth that you very well can be making your looking experience far better — one deletion at a time.