nov 2018 29
FBI closes multi-million dollar ad-fraud scheme
The campaign infected more than 1.7 million computers to generate fake clicks
In a collective effort involving Google, the FBI, the ad-fraud combat company WhiteOps and a group of cyber security companies, a comprehensive and sophisticated digital ad scam have come to an end.
The campaign has infected more than 1.7 million computers to generate fake clicks used to defraud advertisers online for years, generating millions of dollars in revenue for criminals. The online fraud campaign, dubbed 3ve (pronounced “Eve”), is believed to have been active since 2014, but its fraudulent activity grew last year, turning it into a large-scale business and yielding more than US $ 30 million to criminals.
“Fraudsters try to produce fake traffic and fraudulent ad inventory to get advertisers to believe that their ads are being viewed by real and interested users,” said WhiteOps researchers.
Last month, the FBI seized 31 internet domains and 89 servers that were part of the 3ve infrastructure. On Tuesday, the US Department of Justice indicted eight people allegedly involved in online advertising scams, which included five Russian citizens, one from Ukraine and two from Kazakhstan. Three of them have already been arrested.
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