Feeds

Botnet implicated in click fraud scam

Google Adword abuse

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Botnets are being used for Google Adword click fraud, according to security watchers.

The SANS Institute has uncovered evidence that networks of compromised PCs are being used to click on banner ads, generating revenue for unscrupulous publishers.

Pay-per-click schemes such as Google Adsense have programs to detect fraudulent clicks and suspend publishers implicated in click fraud. In an effort to disguise bogus visits, these publishers have begun hiring botnets to slip under the radar of fraud detection programs.

The "bottom line is that the advertiser pays in exchange for a bot visiting him", the SANS Institute reports.

Generating traffic from a small number of machines (numbered in the hundreds) makes the traffic generated from compromised machines look innocuous. In return for helping click fraud scammers keep a low profile, botnet owners rake in a percentage from the scam.

The ruse came to light after security experts in the SANS Institute's Internet Storm Centre investigated malicious software on a hacker's website. Control panels on the site, designed to facilitate the control of compromised machines infected with malware, were left open. This allowed security experts to analyse the actions of the botnet operator behind the site.

"The botnet was 115 bots in size at the early time of the day I was looking at it and most were under 15 clicks each," a handler at SANS Institute reports in a diary entry filed last weekend.

The institute has reported the site and its findings to Google. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Arts and crafts store Michaels says 3 million credit cards exposed in breach
Meanwhile, Target investigators prepare for long process in nabbing hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.