A recently discovered inventory fraud is a massive lesson in why publishers should adopt the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) ads.txt. initiative.
Recently, Adform published a white paper describing how it discovered this “domain spoofing” fraud, which it called “one of the largest botnets to ever hit digital advertising” — about three or four times as large as the famous Methbot fraud discovered 11 months ago by White Ops.
At the end of September, Copenhagen-based ad tech firm Adform began notifying a variety of ad exchanges of a large ad fraud operation that may have been generating at least half a million dollars a day. The FBI and the UK’s Metropolitan Police were also informed.
Adform says that the operation, which it dubbed Hyphbot, has apparently been active at least since August, utilizing a network of data centers. It created over 34,000 domain names and URLs so it could pretend to represent inventory for a variety of publishers, including such premium brands as the Economist, the Financial Times, CNN and The Wall Street Journal.[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]