Cybercriminals are exploiting Google Search Ads to distribute the Bonanza malware [5], posing a threat to unsuspecting users. By disguising malicious links as legitimate ads [5], hackers can deceive users into clicking on them [5], leading to malware downloads or phishing attempts [5]. This highlights the importance of exercising caution while browsing the internet and interacting with ads.


A recent malvertising campaign targeted PyCharm Google search results [4], which was discovered by a researcher conducting a search for the keyword “PyCharm” on Google. The campaign took advantage of a compromised wedding planning website, injecting it with spam-generating malware [6] [9]. This allowed the attacker to promote fake versions of PyCharm on Google search results [1] [2] [3] [7] [8]. By utilizing Google’s Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) system, the attacker automatically generated ads for the popular Python development program [2] [3] [7]. These ads were then displayed to users searching for PyCharm on Google [2].

Unfortunately, the website owner was unaware of the malicious ads being shown [2] [4]. When users clicked on the ad [1] [3] [7], they were redirected to a hacked webpage that installed multiple malware instead of the intended software [1]. The attacker may have been attempting to monetize the malware downloads [6] [9]. This incident is unique as the website owner was unaware of the malicious ad being generated [4]. The compromised website unintentionally served as an intermediary for the malicious ad [4].

Users searching for PyCharm may not notice the misleading ad description and proceed to download the serial key [4], resulting in their computer being infected with numerous malware [4]. The hackers may have aimed to monetize software loads by earning a commission [4]. The compromised website may have been detected by Google due to spam injections [4], which inadvertently promoted malicious content through Dynamic Search Ads [4].

The wedding planner business [4], whose website was compromised [4], has been informed of the issue [4]. Malwarebytes has already detected the malware payloads [4].


The abuse of Google Search Ads to spread the Bonanza malware highlights the need for increased caution when browsing the internet and interacting with ads. Users should be vigilant and avoid downloading cracked software. The compromised website owner has been notified, and steps are being taken to address the issue. It is crucial for individuals and businesses to practice safe browsing habits and stay informed about the latest cybersecurity threats.