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Here’s a case of huge inventory fraud that ads.txt could vanquish…

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.]

About The Author

Barry Levine covers marketing technology for Third Door Media. Previously, he covered this space as a Senior Writer for VentureBeat, and he has written about these and other tech subjects for such publications as CMSWire and NewsFactor. He founded and led the web site/unit at PBS station Thirteen/WNET; worked as an online Senior Producer/writer for Viacom; created a successful interactive game, PLAY IT BY EAR: The First CD Game; founded and led an independent film showcase, CENTER SCREEN, based at Harvard and M.I.T.; and served over five years as a consultant to the M.I.T. Media Lab. You can find him at LinkedIn, and on Twitter at xBarryLevine.

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