The cru­sade against click laun­der­ing

Enterprise - - On the web -

Mi­crosoft’s cru­sade against click laun­der­ing is rel­e­vant to nearly all big or small busi­nesses con­nected to the online world. Click laun­der­ing is a tech­nique that makes a bo­gus click on an online ad to look le­git­i­mate in or­der to de­fraud a pay- per- click ad­ver­tis­ing sys­tem.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port by Mi­crosoft in­ves­ti­ga­tors’ on the emerg­ing forms of click fraud, “Click laun­der­ing is a newly un­cov­ered form of online fraud in which tech­ni­cal mea­sures are used to in­valid ad clicks ap­pear to orig­i­nate from le­git­i­mate sources. It is anal­o­gous to money laun­der­ing in which the ori­gin of il­le­gal prof­its is dis­guised as le­git­i­mate.

“Click laun­der­ing at­tempts to avoid fraud de­tec­tion sys­tems that have been put in place by the ad plat­form - in this case, Mi­crosoft ad­cen­ter - to pro­tect online ad­ver­tis­ers. Through var­i­ous means, in­clud­ing mal­ware pro­grams, fraud­sters are able to trick in­no­cent In­ter­net users into vis­it­ing web­sites where they un­know­ingly click on ad­ver­tise­ments. Click laun­der­ers can also fur­ther dis­guise the ori­gin of those in­valid clicks by us­ing scripts and other meth­ods to al­ter in­for­ma­tion that is sent to the ad plat­form.”

The fil­ing of law­suits by Mi­crosoft against peo­ple em­ploy­ing the tech­nique came with the al­le­ga­tions that de­fen­dants used bot­nets and other tech­niques to drive traf­fic to their own servers, where they scraped out the traf­fi­cre­fer­ring in­for­ma­tion and re­placed it with code that made it look like the traf­fic came di­rectly to their sites. A bot­net is a net­work of ma­li­cious com­put­ers formed by crim­i­nals for in­fect­ing large num­ber of com­put­ers with­out the users ac­tu­ally know­ing it. Crim­i­nals use bot­nets to send out spam email mes­sages, spread viruses, at­tack com­put­ers and servers, and com­mit other kinds of crime and fraud.

In one of the law­suits filed by Mi­crosoft, Re­dor­bit was ac­cused to man­u­fac­ture large numbers of bo­gus clicks on shady sites known as parked do­mains — web sites that are le­gal but ex­ist only to dis­play ads. In this case, many of the ads were in­vis­i­ble to the naked eye. Then, us­ing a tech­ni­cal sleight of hand, it sub­mit­ted the clicks to Mi­crosoft in a way that made them ap­pear to have oc­curred on Re­dor­bit’s own site – a re­quire­ment for get­ting paid.

Online ad­ver­tis­ing fu­els much of the In­ter­net ac­tiv­ity we en­joy to­day, en­abling free ser­vices and un­prece­dented con­tent flows. This mar­ket­place, in or­der to con­tinue en­abling rich online ex­pe­ri­ences, needs to be based on a trusted plat­form. Ad­ver­tis­ers need to have con­fi­dence that they are get­ting what they pay for.

While, click fraud has been a scourge since the dawn of online ad­ver­tis­ing, dis­hon­est web­site op­er­a­tors have pumped up ad rev­enues by gen­er­at­ing online traf­fic in the ab­sence of an ac­tual in­ter­ested buyer for the prod­uct or ser­vice be­ing ad­ver­tised. To counter this, big ad net­work op­er­a­tors such as Google ( GOOG) and Mi­crosoft ( MSFT) have de­vel­oped fraud de­tec­tion sys­tems to weed out use­less clicks, so the con­fi­dence of ad­ver­tis­ers in their sys­tems can be main­tained though online cheat­ing strate­gies keep be­com­ing more so­phis­ti­cated.

Mi­crosoft and other ad plat­form providers in­vest in tech­niques and tools to iden­tify click fraud when it oc­curs. The filed law­suits aimed to help pro­tect the ad plat­form, to pro­mote the in­tegrity of online ad­ver­tis­ing for the ben­e­fit of le­git­i­mate ad­ver­tis­ers, to stop the fraud­u­lent be­hav­ior and to re­cover the dam­ages caused by click laun­der­ing

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.