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BizReport : Search Marketing : September 17, 2009

ClickForensics IDs new botnet

As if advertising didn't have enough pitfalls, a new click fraud botnet has been identified by ClickForensics; the botnet, they believe is linked to the recent 'malvertising attack' which took over computers in order to commit the fraud. ClickForensics believes the botnet uses search results to deliver malware to unsuspecting consumers.

by Kristina Knight

Called "> "Bahama Botnet", it distributes malware by masking itself as a high quality source of advertising traffic. So far many search engines, online publishers and ad network filters haven't been able to catch the botnet, which has been linked to the weekend malware attacks on In that attack, fraudulent ads were placed on the website in hopes that consumers would click and download the virus.

The alerted consumers quickly, advising them not to click the fraudulent ads.

"During the past four years we've monitored billions of clicks for top search engines, ad networks, publishers and advertisers. This scheme is one of the most sophisticated we've seen," said Paul Pellman, CEO of Click Forensics. "The botnet is effectively disguising the fraud it produces as 'good traffic' by altering the interval and breadth of the attacks across legions of infected machines."

ClickForensics in July reported that click fraud had dropped to nearly 13%, a significant decrease from the 16.2% click fraud rate reported in Q2 2008.

Tags: botnet, click fraud, click measurement, ClickForensics, PPC

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