By Marcos Colón
December 20, 2016
Security experts have uncovered a new and successful take on click fraud that’s allowing Russian cyber miscreants to steal millions of dollars on a daily basis.
A new report from cybersecurity firm White Ops sheds light on the ruse that generates $3 to $5 million in fraudulent revenue per day by targeting the premium video advertising ecosystem.
This lone criminal group operates out of Russia, but controls legitimate data centers in the U.S. and Netherlands, creating a bot farm that tricks advertising networks into thinking that real people are watching hundreds of millions of video ads a day.
The data centers controlled by the attackers find troves of IP addresses owned by internet service providers like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast, and create false documentation that claims the right to use them, ultimately accessing the video ads via custom web browsers.
By leveraging programmatic ad bidding networks, the criminal group seamlessly impersonates publishers to rake in millions from advertisers who think real people are watching their ads.