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Ad Fraud Scam Wasted $7 Million Per Month of Advertiser’s Budgets

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by Asif WILSON Khan, Apr 22, 2017.

  1. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    Seattle, WA, April 20, 2017 – Protected Media, a global provider of anti-fraud solutions that ensure digital ads are visible and seen by real people, discovered an online ad scam called “The Traffic Alchemist” (***********/lwurrf7) that disguises junk traffic as views on reputable sites, with high Alexa ratings originating from Google and Twitter. Beginning in New York in April 2016, the scam evaded detection since it involved real users instead of bots, masqueraded traffic, and cloaked fraudulent sites to keep them off data scientists’ radar. This scam burned through $7 million dollars a month at its peak, and is still continuing but at a slower rate.

    “The Traffic Alchemist scam is unusual not because of the sophistication of one single technique but because it combines several methods together to keep the fraudulent activity under the radar”, said Asaf Greiner, CEO of Protected Media. “By looking beyond the technology, and uncovering the mechanism that manipulates traffic attributes, it’s possible to detect similar complicated ad schemes that are always in place but with slightly different variations”.

    The fraudster began by buying junk traffic, typically on porn or torrent sites, known for long viewing times. Then long sessions were split into hundreds of short sessions on "legitimate, lucrative” sites operated by the fraudster. These sites were cloaked to appear reputable for direct traffic, but were actually cluttered with pop-up ads that are not viewable. Up to 35 ads were served per user that were refreshed every 15 seconds resulting in 140 ad impressions per minute. The fake web sites were clustered together, into groups of 7-10, and traffic was cycled through each site to keep realistic measurements so an alert wouldn’t be issued to anti-fraud software.

    The path to these pop-under sites was disguised so that the viewers appear to be arriving organically from Google or Twitter, from legitimate search and social activity rather than views on porn and torrent sites. The cleaned up traffic was shared with Google Analytics and then reported by reputable third party platforms making advertisers confident the traffic was legitimate. After several weeks, when the performance was no longer good enough to keep the sites on target publisher lists, the websites were abandoned for a fresh cluster, to keep the scam continuing month after month.


    [​IMG]


    SOURCE: https://www.protected.media/alchemistinfographic

    http://www.cso.com.au/mediareleases/29461/ad-fraud-scam-wasted-7-million-per-month-of/
     
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  2. coitza

    coitza Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Damn, some people are just in another league :D
     
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  3. AryabhattZero

    AryabhattZero Power Member

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    omfg. I love stuff like this
     
  4. indianfreak

    indianfreak Power Member

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    Man, now THIS is scary.
     
  5. viivii

    viivii Jr. VIP Jr. VIP UnGagged Attendee

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    damn, its good to be smart!
     
  6. Setox

    Setox Power Member

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    Ads fraud is One of the main reason why Performance marketing & traffic & paying per action/lead is growing day after day .
     
  7. Capo Dei Capi

    Capo Dei Capi BANNED BANNED

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    Those are some really nice clean numbers, I have a feeling something is up.
     
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  8. Wizikal

    Wizikal Newbie

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    How much are these guys making from this?
     
  9. stelios0

    stelios0 Regular Member

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    7m per month?
     
  10. Vladamir

    Vladamir Power Member

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    I had a client in the Drug Rehab niche a while back asked me to do some PPC on adwords, the buys were like $30 a click, got a client out of it though and the treatment center is very expensive monthly so it is worth the conversion.

    But hell even if a few of those clicks are fake thats $30 a click, I could screw my competitor by paying for some cheap adwords ad clicks, make them rack up $10000 dollar budgets from my $100 bs traffic clicks blasts, frustrate them out of ppc then take over. Since were all blackhat here this dude gives me a idea for a greasy method of dicking your competitors and lowering your ppc if your in a really expensive niche ahahA
     
  11. pressrelease

    pressrelease Power Member

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    good method, i will also try this and sell traffic on fiverr. as its not gonna dry ever
     
  12. MaFiaStyle

    MaFiaStyle Regular Member

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    Advertisers are fool to keep advertising if no conversion objectives are achieved.
     
  13. Automation247

    Automation247 Regular Member

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    I bet they're russians :D
     
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  14. MisterF

    MisterF Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  15. Nut-Nights

    Nut-Nights Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Out of 7 mil, $5 mil is done my BHW members.
     
  16. Capo Dei Capi

    Capo Dei Capi BANNED BANNED

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    Digging into it more it seems very likely that most of the story was made up by them.
     
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  17. BlackhatPhilo

    BlackhatPhilo Newbie

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    The real "fraud" here is Asif Wilson Khan blatantly posting these paid online news pieces on such a high authority site with a backlink.

    Every week or so a thread like this pops up.

    How much does he get paid to do this I wonder....
     
  18. KHer0

    KHer0 Supreme Member

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    Lol, yeah... Forum links are beasts :D
     
  19. I know SEO

    I know SEO Marketplace Mod Moderator

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    That's interesting, what have you found exactly?

    If Wilson has found someone stupid enough to pay him for a no follow link on here, good for him.

    I doubt it though. it's quite clear he respects BHW enough to not pull that kind of thing :)
     
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  20. hippo123

    hippo123 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Dam, these guys must be banking it.