Feeds

back to article Chameleon botnet grabbed $6m A MONTH from online ad-slingers

A web analytics firm has sniffed out a botnet that was raking in $6m a month from online advertisers. The so-called Chameleon botnet mimicked human visitors on select websites, causing billions of display ad impressions to be served to compromised machines. As many as 120,000 infected drones have been discovered so far. Almost …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Anonymous Coward

Hey, leave the bots alone!

Somebody has to click on those adverts and make advertisers happy.

5
2
h3
Bronze badge

Re: Hey, leave the bots alone!

Yep anything that makes ad network lose money is 100% aok with me.

5
2
Mushroom

Re: Hey, leave the bots alone!

I assume you prefer pay walls to adverts? And big media conglomerates to small independent publishers? It's advertising that's paying for them sites, not unicorns and pixie dust.

3
1
Bronze badge

Deviant...

Lol: "to identify deviant consumption of display advertising media."

Deviant as skewed, but not as "having bothered to entertain the advert"....

As Spock would say, "Sophisticated in their methods..."

Now, i am sure that the botnet writers will just make sure their bots crash more gracefully and more virtually, not taking down whole machines and causing them to re-request an IP, which by time lag, would be easy to pick if an investigative team had permission to dig into target domains and subnetss....

0
0
Devil

I smell collusion

And the bot master make money, how?

I presume that advertisers pay the web sites where the ads are displayed, how does the money get to the bot masters? Kickback? Fake web sites just for harvesting ad revenue?

2
0
Mushroom

Re: I smell collusion

It dependes - the publisher might be buying what they think is legitimate traffic for their site, but is in fact fraudulent. (If you're wondering how you can 'buy' traffic for your site, that's what companies like Outbrain are doing when they put lists of links on publisher pages). That's the only case in which I think the publisher might be considered an innocent victim.

0
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: I smell collusion

Yes, but how do the botnet creators make money off this?

0
1

Re: I smell collusion

They also own the sites which host the adverts, or have an agreement with the owners. In other words, they publish the ads, and their botnet then clicks the ads. The advertiser pays the network (Google, for example) something in the region of 10c - 50c for the botnet's click, and Google pays the site owner some percentage of this. Great work if you can get it.

1
0
Mushroom

Re: I smell collusion

Publishers _buy_ traffic from them.

0
0
Silver badge
Pint

Re: I smell collusion

@Displacement Activity

Thanks for clarifying that. Until I read your post I was completely confused.

Cheers.

0
1
Coat

Can you please post the traffic profile?

I'd like to be blacklisted by advertisers too.

12
0
Bronze badge

Re: Can you please post the traffic profile?

^I SECOND THIS!!!

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Is this any different from penny clicks from the early 2000's?

I used to have a small PC farm running a click marco.

Although I only every made $200 or so

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.