Feeds

Facebook tackles potent click fraud scam

Disgruntled advertisers turn anti-social

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Facebook is investigating reports that advertisers on the social networking site have been left well out of pocket as a result of click fraud.

Networks of compromised PCs are often used to click on banner ads, generating income for unscrupulous affiliates at the expense of online advertisers, who effectively wind up paying for a bot to visit their sites. Such visits, of course, never result in any purchases.

The issue has affected pay-per-click schemes such as Google Adsense for years, despite the best efforts of Google and others to crack down on the problem.

Facebook offers pay-per-click advertising to small self-serve advertisers, who have begun complaining of a ramp-up in click fraud on an even greater scale. An online forum at WickedFire is littered with complaints, many alleging that Facebook is charging for clicks in excess of those recorded by server logs, Techcrunch reports.

The complaints strongly suggest the problem is worse than even income-sapping visits from bots - advertisers are getting billed for visits that never happened.

In response, Facebook acknowledged a potential problem with suspicious clicks and promised to reimburse advertisers for any losses. It said it was in the process of rolling out anti-fraud measures, designed to thwart the fraud.

"We take click quality very seriously and have a series of measures in place to detect it," a Facebook spokesman told Techcrunch. "We have large volumes of data to analyze click patterns and can identify suspicious activity quickly.

"Over the past few days, we have seen an increase in suspicious clicks. We have identified a solution which we have already begun to implement and expect will be completely rolled out by the end of today.

"In addition, we are identifying impacted accounts and will ensure that advertisers are credited appropriately." ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
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
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications 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.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.