I thought my fellow hubbers might find this interesting:
So, according to the BBC, there's this thing called the "Chameleon" botnet that hijacks computers and pretends to be a human surfing the web, viewing pages and clicking ads, generating false impressions, costing advertisers money and, presumably, padding the revenue of the owners of over 200 websites.
I gotta say, this seems like a very convoluted way to steal money. Maybe the people who created Chameleon own all the websites it "visits?" Or maybe they have it surfing websites they have nothing to do with just to make it harder to notice a connection?
The botnet cost advertisers over $6million according to the article, so even if you only own one of the websites, that's still about $30K--not too shabby for a hack. I wonder if they'll ever catch the people behind it.
Most of the Chameleon-hijacked computers are in the USA.
This is a huge problem. We see what ad networks refer to as invalid traffic all the time, especially with our yieldbuild service. I suspect that this is just the tip of the iceberg. The good news is google is by far the best from what we have seen at detecting this traffic and they adjust their CPMs accordingly.
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