US Security firm White Ops has uncovered a bot farm known as Methbot and they are responsible for the largest ad fraud hack to date.
What this has to do with you:
In a nutshell, this disaster was executed by fraudulent clicks targeting online video ads. In this post, we will examine the details behind the ad fraud scam and explain how you can protect your business by detecting and preventing click fraud.
It should also be noted that although this is the single largest incident of ad fraud ever recorded, this is not the only instance of problems related to click fraud. Just consider the ongoing court battle between Criteo Vs. SteelHouse, or the new case between Whenever Communications Vs. Satmodo. But for now, let’s focus on the Russian Methbot Operation.
Before we explain how you can avoid becoming a victim, let’s look back at exactly what happened here.
So how did they do it?
It all started in September 2015, when White Ops began to notice troubling signs of fraudulent traffic. This traffic volume hit an all time high in October 2016, when investigators began to look into the source.
According to White Ops, Methbot is:
Controlled by a single group based in Russia and operating out of data centers in the US and Netherlands, this “bot farm” generates $3 to $5 million in fraudulent revenue per day by targeting the premium video advertising ecosystem.
White Ops went on to release a report on the Methbot Operation that provides an in-depth analysis of the financial impact on the online advertising industry.
This report reveals that:
They used dedicated servers to run proxies in order to hide the single origin source of their operation. Using falsified documents, the perpetrators were able to obtain or lease 852,992 real IP addresses, putting them to work generating fraudulent ad calls that appeared to come from legitimate residential Internet providers such as Verizon, Comcast, Spectrum, and others. The value of these IP addresses alone is over $4 million today, according to figures posted by IPv4 Market Group.
According to an article on Forbes.com the problem may be even bigger than originally reported. And unfortunately, the online advertising industry is not providing advertisers with effective protection tools.
On the other hand:
There are ways that you, as an online advertiser can protect your business.
If you run an online advertising campaign it’s really up to you to make sure you are not losing money due to fraudulent clicks.
ClickFrauds.com has developed the most advanced click fraud detection and prevention tool on the market. And by joining our click fraud fighters community, you can easily protect your Google Adwords account from manual click fraud, click fraud by bots and unwanted clicks.
The fact is, many people are still not fully aware of what click fraud really is or how much it affects them. So it is understandable that many online advertisers may be hesitant about paying money for a protection tool.
That’s why we offer our FREE Forever package. It allows you to monitor your account and find out what is really going on. We also provide cost effective solutions for real-time protection so that you can completely prevent any fraudulent clicks on your Adwords account.