The California-based search giant, Google, has been working on a cleanup since last week, removing from its network several applications involved in an advertising fraud scheme.
A botnet called "TechSnab" was used as a fraud tactic to generate web traffic by creating browser windows hidden in web pages to increase advertising revenue. This botnet generated traffic to a set of websites created specifically for this operation and monetized with Google and many third-party ad exchanges. The malware used common protections for masking, data dimming and IP scanning.
Google has identified, reviewed, and blocked the invalid traffic associated with this operation by excluding and blacklining those sites and applications. In addition, they also blacklisted additional apps and sites outside of their ad network for advertisers to use the Display; Video 360 does not spend more for this traffic.
"While our transaction review is in progress, we estimate that the monetary value of Google advertisers' expenses involved in the applications and websites involved in the transaction will increase to less than $ 10 million.", said Google through a blog.
Based on Google's historical analysis of ads.txt analysis, the inventory of these sites became widely available throughout the advertising ecosystem. It was possible that 150 bourses, vendor platforms or networks would sell this stock.
Botnet operators had hundreds of accounts in 88 different exchanges (based on the accounts listed with the status "DIRECT" in their ads.txt files).
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