Feeds

Facebook tackles potent click fraud scam

Disgruntled advertisers turn anti-social

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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." ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
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?