Feeds

Man charged over Google blackmail attempt

Cost per click scam

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

A California man who claimed to have software which automatically clicked on Google cost-per-click ads has been charged with extortion and wiretap fraud.

Michael Bradley of Oak Park, California is accused of threatening Google that he would to sell the software to spammers unless the search engine firm paid him $150,000. He was arrested in March and is pleading not guilty to the charges.

A successful automatic ad-clicker could cost Google, and its advertisers, millions. But we're not sure why it would be of interest to spammers. The most obvious beneficiaries of artificially-inflated click-throughs would be publishers, such as, err, The Register, which have signed up to Google Adwords. But few would get away with scamming for long.

From time to time, Google axes a blogger or two on suspicion that they are manipulating their Adwords response. The company knows how many ads it serves through third party outlets and it has a good handle on what the range of click-through rates should be. Anything out of the ordinary sets alarm bells ringing. ®

Related stories

BT man coughs to Google share scam
Google's Gmail: spook heaven?
The economics of spam

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?