November 15, 2016


TAG Unveils Malware Threat Sharing Hub to Provide Intelligence on Attacks to Industry & Law Enforcement; TAG “Certified Against Malware” Seal Now Available

WASHINGTON, DC – November 15, 2016 – The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), an advertising industry initiative to fight criminal activity in the digital advertising supply chain, today launched the TAG “Certified Against Malware” Program, its fourth and final seal program to certify buyers, sellers, and intermediaries in the digital advertising supply chain who have taken aggressive steps to fight malware. As part of that program, TAG also unveiled a first-of-its-kind Malware Threat Sharing Hub to disseminate near real-time intelligence on malware attacks to other companies and law enforcement agencies.

Some of the leading digital advertising companies and ad agencies have already agreed to participate in the TAG “Certified Against Malware” Program, including Adform, Admiral, AppNexus, DoubleVerify, engage:BDR, GeoEdge, Google, MediaMath, OpenX, RiskIQ, RocketFuel, Rubicon Project, Sovrn, SpotX, and The Media Trust.

“Malware is the weapon that shatters the security of the digital ad ecosystem and allows criminals to take over millions of computers with bot networks to run their scams and fraud,” said Mike Zaneis, CEO of TAG. “TAG’s ‘Certified Against Malware’ Program uses a multi-prong approach that includes consumer education, industry best practices, information sharing, and law enforcement to shut down malware distributors and protect the advertising supply chain. We’re pleased that the industry is coming together in a common effort to protect our industry and the millions of consumers who are victimized by malware.”

TAG’s Malware Threat Sharing Hub will allow select companies to share near real-time information about malware attacks through a central industry resource built and hosted by TAG. Participating companies will be able to update their digital defenses against the most recent infections used in attacks on other victimized companies and consumers, thus serving as a type of immune system for the industry in helping it respond to new and emerging threats. TAG will also provide information from the Malware Threat Sharing Hub to law enforcement agencies to assist in the prosecution of criminals distributing and using malware.

To obtain a TAG “Certified Against Malware” seal, companies must comply with a set of guidelines related to their specific roles in the digital advertising supply chain, including the adoption of TAG’s Best Practices for Scanning Creative for Malware, which were released last month. Other requirements include:

·         Document appropriate points of contact at partner companies,

·         Document malware scanning responsibilities,

·         Scan a reasonable percentage of total inventory,

·         Establish procedure for defining Red Flag events and handling of standard malware incidents,

·         Designate an anti-malware contact, and

·         Establish a formal post-mortem process for Red Flag malware incidents and review this process semi-annually.

"Malware is one of the most pernicious threats faced by the online advertising industry, and one the industry must address conclusively to maintain the trust of users,” said John Murphy, VP Marketplace Quality, OpenX and Co-Chair, TAG Anti-Malware Working Group. “OpenX is proud to participate in the Certified Against Malware Program and will increasingly look to demand partners to participate in the program and adopt anti-malware best practices that protect users."

“Malware is a critical threat to the open internet, and AppNexus has been in the malware fight since our founding,” said Steve Truxal, Director, Product Management, AppNexus and Co-Chair, TAG Anti-Malware Working Group. “Over the years, we've largely been at it alone, and there has been a lack on intra- and inter-industry cooperation. I’m very exciting that this is starting to change. We look forward to continuing to contribute to TAG's Certified Against Malware Program and working with partners who also adopt these practices.”

TAG’s anti-malware efforts have been led by the organization’s Anti-Malware Working Group, which includes nearly fifty companies and organizations involved in the fight against malware. TAG also has been working closely on its anti-malware efforts with federal law enforcement agencies including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Justice, and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

TAG’s “Certified Against Malware” Program addresses the fourth and final leg of TAG’s mission to eliminate fraudulent traffic, combat malware, fight Internet piracy, and promote transparency across the digital advertising supply chain. Each participating TAG company is eligible for a custom package for the certification processes related to its business, so it can apply for, receive, and use the relevant TAG seals in promoting its efforts to protect the digital advertising supply chain.

About the Trustworthy Accountability Group

The Trustworthy Accountability Group was created to foster transformational improvement at scale across the digital advertising ecosystem, focusing on four core areas: eliminating fraudulent traffic, combating malware, fighting ad-supported Internet piracy to promote brand integrity, and promoting brand safety through greater transparency. For more information on TAG, please visit

Andrew Weinstein

Topics: Press Releases