TAG hosts first Malware Summit

June 1, 2016

Among the four primary areas of focus for TAG, one causes significant damage to the consumer experience as well as the advertising supply chain: malware.

Malware is malicious software that can take over users’ computers and turn them into zombie machines for criminals, and it is the engine that drives much of the fraud in the advertising ecosystem.

Earlier today, TAG held its first Malware Summit in New York City, bringing together a small group of industry leaders to discuss the current state of – and solutions to – malware and malvertising in digital advertising. (A nice article on the Summit and TAG’s work in this area ran in AdAge today.)

Our efforts on malware build on similar approaches to tackling the issues of fraud, piracy, and lack of transparency. By bringing together the brightest minds and most influential companies in the industry, TAG leverages their knowledge and experience to create industry-wide programs to tackle those difficult issues. With the engagement of key companies throughout the process, we both ensure that we are building on existing best practices and launch with a critical mass of industry support when the program is ready for broad deployment.

While the discussions at the Summit were confidential, attendees heard introductory remarks from AppNexus co-founder Brian O’Kelley and an analysis of the current state of malware from The Media Trust CEO Chris Olson. In addition to learning from one another, attendees also had the opportunity to review case studies on companies in other industries who have faced similar threats.

Beyond that intra-industry engagement, the Summit also facilitated a dialogue with representatives from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, FBI, and Department of Justice. These relationships will be critical in our fight against malware to ensure that our industry can share information with the relevant law enforcement authorities and bring the criminals profiting from malware to justice.

Coming out of the Summit, the TAG Malware Working Group plans to work quickly toward an information-sharing infrastructure and set of best practices that will allow the industry to take an aggressive role in fighting malware. Later this year, TAG plans to unveil the results of that work and begin to offer companies a TAG anti-malware seal if they comply with those standards.

If you would like to get involved with the work of the TAG Malware Working Group or learn more about TAG’s anti-malware efforts, please contact or visit

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