MicroAd Hijacks Browsers & Hides Google Adsense Ads

I have several websites where I have Google Adsense Ads running.

Today, when I was browsing my websites, I was surprised to see some shady-looking ads showing. The ads appeared to be of companies called “Poster Gully”, “Styleever”, “fashion equation.com” etc.

If you peer closely at the ads, you will find an icon towards the right-hand side, similar to the ones found in the Adsense ads.


Clicking that icon reveals the following message:

Privacy Policy: Dear Users Viewing MicroAd’s Advertisement

MicroAd’s behavior targeting is a service to deliver most adequate and relevant information, namely advertisements, to our customers. It is a service thoughtfully considered what beneficial information for our customers will be.

Mechanism of the behavior targeting is to store records of customers accessing web sites belonging to MicroAd’s Advertisement Network, and analyze the records to extract interests of the customers so that MicroAd is able deliver advertisements the customers will likely be interested in.

To be sure, the record stored is collected anonymously, namely it does not include any information that may risk privacy of our customers such as name, birth date, e-mail address, user ID, and credit card numbers.

In case customers like to avoid viewing advertisements delivered through the behavior targeting and records of accessing web sites being stored, they have a choice to opt out.

If you like to opt out, please click the following Opt Out link.
Customers residing in Japan:Opt Out (Invalidate Cookie)
Customers residing in China:Opt Out (Invalidate Cookie)
Customers residing in other countries:Opt Out (Invalidate Cookie)

What was surprising was that MicroAd had neatly pasted itself in the slot that I have kept for the Google Adsense Ad. In the result the Adsense Ad was blocked.

Surprisingly, even after I clicked the “Opt Out” link, the MicroAds continued to show. I think I need to clear all the cookies from the browser.

This affects all browsers – Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer.

Personally, I think MicroAd is a malware. It hijacks the browser and shows ads without the consent of either the website or the visitor. The visitor thinks the ads are displayed on the website because they appear neatly in the sidebar, in the place reserved for advertisements. The poor website owner has no idea about this and doesn’t get paid.

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