News by Topic
- Search Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Loyalty Marketing
- Mobile Marketing
- Social Marketing
- Viral Marketing
- Trends & Ideas
- Internet Marketing 101
MdotLabs reveals botnet impression fraud threat to advertisers and publishers
A warning to advertisers, ad networks and publishers has been issued by media security platform MdotLabs regarding an impression fraud threat from the Athena botnet.
The Athena botnet has been around for some time. However, new information from MdotLabs reveals its threat to advertisers and publishers.
According to MdotLabs, while traditional security firms have discussed the Athena threat at length, none have addressed the impression fraud modules uncovered by MdotLabs.
The Athena botnet is a "formidable threat for standard viewability detection methods", says Kevin Springborn, MdotLabs Chief Architect. Since IP addresses of the fraudulent ad views come from live but infected machines, IP blacklists are limited in their scope.
Furthermore, because an infected user's Internet Explorer browser is used, including that user's history, cookies and profile, "a user with a long history of conversions and a well-defined profile could be inadvertently driving fraudulent views alongside their normal Internet usage".
"While the user interface is quite crude, it's unfortunately all too easy to use Athena to 'rent' infected computers and direct their browsing activity for the purposes of falsely inflating clicks or impressions, says Timur Yarnall, CEO of MdotLabs. "Advertisers and publishers should not only take safeguards to protect against this type of activity but also use the Athena release as a chance to learn first-hand how botnets operate."
Image via Shutterstock
- Top tips to capitalize on social apps
- Mondays a favorite of fraudsters
- Reports show strong Q3, point to strong Q4
- Mobile Roundup: iOS users converting more, device adoption continues to grow
- Study: Moms looking to tech to track family health
- Study reveals global consumer attitudes to cross-border ecommerce
- Apple Pay, HCE to drive NFC-based contactless payments
- Study finds omnichannel strategy can drive more revenue
Featured White Papers
- Move Beyond Batch and Blast Emails
Like many marketers, you've included email in your marketing mix for years. But while email remains a vital channel, traditional...
- Social Media Pocket Guide
In just a few short years, the world of social media has changed immensely. We'll walk through each of the...