5.CyberSecurity: Understanding the nature of attacks: stealing your advertising budget

CyberSecurity: Understanding the nature of attacks: stealing your advertising budget

A large part of the web is paid for by advertising on the web pages. The advertiser often pays the owner of the web page each time a user clicks through to the advertisers site. These click throughs and the payments are often organised by companies such as Google and their Adsense software. Criminals exploit this system in several different ways. Criminals create their own websites, often by copying large chunks from other websites, and place adverts using the Adsense system on these fake pages. Then they use a botnet to repeatedly visit their own pages and click on the advert links provided by Google. Google then pays them as owner of the web pages and charges the advertiser for this. This is known as click fraud.

Criminals can also use a botnet to target the advertising of a specific company on real web pages. In this case they don't get paid. They are simply forcing the advertiser to pay for advertising that has no effect, and can put the advertiser out of business.


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