Chameleon botnet pinches millions from advertisers

20 March 2013

Security researchers have found a dastardly botnet that is stealing millions per month from advertisers by simulating click-throughs on ads.

It has been called the "Chameleon" botnet by analytics botherers spider.io thanks to its ability to display adverts that make money for fraudsters and hoodwink advertisers' behaviour-tracking algorithms.

spider.io reported that the company had been tracking Chameleon since December of 2012 and that each bot is able to interact with Flash and JavaScript based ads with the company issuing a blacklist of the 5,000 worst-offending IP addresses for advertisers to use to protect themselves from fraud.

It is estimated that Chameleon is responsible for at least nine billion fraudulent ad impressions, which means that the botnet causes $6.2 million per month in advertising losses.

[arstechnica]

TOPICS:   Technology   Scams

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