Ocado is testing new technology to crack down on malware that bombards customers with pop-ups and diverts them away from retailer websites.

The company is trialling software from cyber-security company Namogoo to counteract so-called Client Side Injected Malware (CSIM).

Consumers can unknowingly download CSIM via bundled apps or extensions, and it then sits in their browsers where it can cause pop-up ads to appear on retailer websites, offering better deals elsewhere, or even exposing them to fraud and ‘phishing’ attacks’.

Until now, retailers had no way of controllling CSIM, said Namogoo, but its new DigitalKnight software allowed them to take action against this aggressive form of malware.

Namogoo general manager for the EMEA region Michael Joerin added the system was “protecting from the outside in”. DigitalKnight is deployed using a single line of code on the retailer’s site, which enables Namogoo to analyse and block a host of nasties on each web page. “‘Outside-in’ is key here as no one currently analyses these types of threats in this way,” Joerin said.

He added CSIM had grown “rapidly” over the past six months, operating completely undetected by site publishers.

Namogoo’s research suggest 15% to 30% of e-commerce site visitors are infected with CSIM.

CSIM can appear in the form of unauthorised injected ads, banners, in-text ads, pop-ups, malicious links and fraudulent spyware. The ads often look as if they belong to the retailer’s website, damaging consumer perception of the site when it is, in fact, their own browser, that carries the malware.

The Grocer understands other retailers are looking at DigitalKnight, including Waitrose. Ocado declined to comment.