Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Cat and Mouse in Click Fraud

A recent NY Times article describes click fraud as follows:

Click fraud is the practice of creating dummy Web sites to host online ads, peppering those ads with computer generated-clicks, and then collecting money from unwitting advertisers for those clicks.
The article explains how click fraud perpetrators keep using technology to stay ahead of the people trying to detect the fictitious clicks charged to advertisers. In the early days of internet advertising, click fraud perpetrators used their own computer networks to generate fictitious clicks that were then paid by advertisers.

As this fraud was detected, the perpetrators have learned how to develop viruses that hijack other PCs which then generate the fictitious clicks creating the appearance of legitimate web visits to an ad.

As we have learned how to detect those, the perpetrators are now routing the clicks through mobile internet devices because, the article states, something like an internet card "effectively disguises the origin, lumping (the clicks) in with legitimate mobile users under a single originating address."

As in many types of fraud, these click fraud perpetrators are often one step ahead of those trying to catch them. The challenge is to use strategic reasoning to stay one step ahead of the perpetrators. In this case, Click Forensics, the company cited in the article, needs to not only figure out how to detect these new frauds going through mobile devices but also thinking like their perpetrators by asking: how can someone use new opportunities to outsmart us?

No comments:

Post a Comment