The use of malvertising rose by a huge 400 per cent during the first six months of 2016, according to security company RiskIQ.
Malvertising relates to malware-riddled adverts served usually on dodgy websites that can infect a user's machine if they visit the site. People are often tricked into visiting such sites via phishing emails or spam on social media sites.
RiskIQ logged 1.7 million malvertising-related incidents between January and June, compared with just 368,000 in the same period in 2015.
The 2014 figure was 250,000, underlining the dramatic growth over the past two years.
Ben Harknett, EMEA vice president at RiskIQ, explained that the rise is down to the ease with which malvertising campaigns can be launched and the potential returns they can generate for the crooks behind them.
"Malvertising is a problem that is exploding. We’re seeing a wide range of malvertising-driven activity from scareware, fake tech support lures, browser lockers and other scams,” he said.
"In addition to more sophisticated attacks involving tools such as exploit kits, our research team noticed a surge in scam activity and lower tech attacks which are simpler to construct and often easier to monetise."
The rise in malvertising scams is one reason why ad blocking technology has become so popular, as it lessens the risk of such adverts loading.
Google, the largest display advertising business on the web, has been working to tackle this threat for some time, revealing at the start of the year that the company blocked more than 780 million policy-violating advertisements in a crackdown on so-called "bad ads".
The threat from such scams continues to plague web users. Ransomware is also on the rise, although a fight back began last week after Intel, Kaspersky and Europol launched a hub of decryption keys to stop such infections.
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