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The Good Guys of Ad Fraud 2014 Augustine Fou

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Many good guys are using technology and techniques to solve digital ad fraud. However, fighting the bad guys alone is still very difficult. We need to band together as an industry in order to make a dent in the ad fraud problem.

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The Good Guys of Ad Fraud 2014 Augustine Fou

  1. 1. Augustine Fou- 1 - The Good Guys Fighting Digital Ad Fraud Dr. Augustine Fou acfou @mktsci .com June 2014
  2. 2. Augustine Fou- 2 - (Google) Advanced technical analysis that detects fraudulent bot activity We have previously shown how malware-driven traffic across websites costs display advertisers millions of dollars per month [1]. We have also shown how easy it is to generate this type of fake traffic—with fewer than 100 lines of C++ code [2]. In this post we provide the first case study to show how a well known malware rootkit is being used by cyber criminals today specifically to defraud online display advertisers. The case study is a display advertising analogue of a click-fraud study by Miller et al. [3]. In our investigations into the origins of malware-driven traffic across websites we discovered a TDSS rootkit with dll32.dll and dll64.dll payloads. TDSS has been described by Kaspersky as “the most sophisticated threat today” [4]. In this post we show how hijacked PCs controlled by these TDSS payloads impersonate real website visitors across target webpages on which display ad inventory is being sold. We show in this post how this fake traffic is being sold to publishers today through the ClickIce ad exchange. We show further in this post that some unscrupulous publishers are not just knowingly buying this fake traffic. They are in fact optimising their webpage layouts for this fake traffic. We recorded activity on a hijacked PC controlled by one of these payloads. We have included this below. Source:
  3. 3. Augustine Fou- 3 - WhiteOps Javascript/in-browser tech to detect bot actions on websites Mr. Tiffany said traffic fraud can be found not only on smaller sites serving as shells to game ad exchanges, but on the domains of premium publishers as well. "What we do know is that it's not just a problem hiding out in the long tail, it's not just a problem of bogus websites," he said. "Bots have infiltrated traffic systems across the ecosystem and end up at some premium, name brand publishers." Source: AdAge - Premium Publishers Are Getting Victimized By Traffic Fraud, Too Feb 2014
  4. 4. Augustine Fou- 4 - Integral Ad Science Brand safety via analyzing placements of ads Source: Integral Ads
  5. 5. Augustine Fou- 5 - DoubleVerify Ad verification technology – placement, viewability, bot detect Source:
  6. 6. Augustine Fou- 6 - Solve Media's proprietary TYPE-IN™ advertising guarantees your messaging won't be ignored—because it can't be. Our simple, effective and memorable TYPE-IN™ advertising lets users type in brand messages where they interact on web pages and mobile apps— replacing difficult CAPTCHAs, allowing people to skip video pre-roll ads, or unlocking access to valuable mobile experiences. The result: superior brand lift. Here's how: Solve Media Human detection via CAPTCHAs; ad delivery to real humans TYPE-IN™ ads: • Guarantee engagement with your message every time • Deliver 1200% greater message recall than banner ads • Outperform comScore Brand Lift norms by an average of 10X across awareness, association, favorability, and purchase intent • Are performance-based, so you only pay for true engagement. Impressions that users don't engage with are free
  7. 7. Augustine Fou- 7 - Pixalate Fraud reporting and blocking, Fraud Graph and Fraud Analytics, Predictive Fraud blocking – all in real time
  8. 8. Augustine Fou- 8 - Adometry (Google) • Helps advertisers manage and measure their media spend across both online and digital media channels • Unifies data sources to provide continuous performance improvement and yielding returns on ad spend • Helps marketers solve big data challenges and achieve optimal results via advanced data mining techniques
  9. 9. Augustine Fou- 9 - Improvely • Identifies the source of every signup or sale on website • Tracks and monitors ads - inspects each click for suspicious activity
  10. 10. Augustine Fou- 10 - PageFair Measures how many visitors block ads and fixes the problem by implementing non-intrusive ads just for adblockers
  11. 11. Augustine Fou- 11 - YouTube (Google) Video ad impressions counted only if user does not click “skip” With video ads you pay only when someone chooses to watch your ad, so you don't waste money advertising to people who aren't interested in your business. Source:
  12. 12. Augustine Fou- 12 - AreYouAHuman Drag-and-drop actions that reinforce brand message and prove human user interacting with ad.
  13. 13. Augustine Fou- 13 - Google Google proactively filters invalid clicks, does not charge The vast majority of all invalid clicks on AdWords ads are caught by our online filters. These filters are constantly being updated and react to a wide variety of traffic patterns and indications of click fraud attacks. On average, invalid clicks account for less than 10% of all clicks on AdWords ads. At our current revenue run rate, the aggregate value of the clicks that we've identified as suspicious or invalid and excluded from what we've charged advertisers is in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Source:
  14. 14. Augustine Fou- 14 - Nielsen/IAB Consumer Insight – includes: advertising effectiveness, consumerization, performance management, audience measurements, product innovation, price and promotion, and reputation management.
  15. 15. Augustine Fou- 15 - Forensiq Eliminate impression fraud, click fraud, affiliate fraud, and cookie stuffing
  16. 16. Augustine Fou- 16 - So What? “The above countermeasures are all good, and advertisers should continue using them. But they are not enough. If the good guys fight the fight individually, there is little chance they can overcome the entire ecosystem of the bad guys. The good guys need to band together into their own ecosystem and put the bad guys on a ‘digital ad fraud equivalent to the National Sex Offenders Registry’ so we can all fight them at once.” -- Dr. Augustine Fou
  17. 17. Augustine Fou- 17 - Sizing of ad fraud Forensic AnalysisPreliminary Scan Implementation Augustine Fou- 17 - • Technology Tools • Statistical analysis Maintenance Preliminary analysis of paid campaigns and analytics to determine magnitude of the ad fraud impacting client. FREE Creating recommended list of changes, including list of sites to exclude in each ad channel. $$$ Subscribe to triangulated, cross-industry database of “ad fraud offenders” to continuously update blacklists and whitelists. $ • Budget shifts • Further optimization Ad Fraud Forensics Process
  18. 18. Augustine Fou- 18 - Prioritizing Actions bots /not seen by humans delivery viewability targeting waste reduction improving optimization 30% 40% 30%
  19. 19. Augustine Fou- 19 - Low Hanging Fruit The most immediate, direct impact on ROI comes from reducing waste 23% Ad Blocked (wasn’t shown) (PageFair) 54% Not In View (not seen) (comScore) 24 – 29% confirmed bot (Solve Media) 25% On-Target Delivery (Nielsen) 82% Ignored (not relevant) (Harris Interactive)
  20. 20. Augustine Fou- 20 - Dr. Augustine Fou – Digital Forensics “I advise clients on optimizing advertising across all channels. Using advanced technical forensic techniques and custom tchnology tools, we detect and mitigate ad fraud and waste.” FORMER CHIEF DIGITAL OFFICER, HCG (OMNICOM) MCKINSEY CONSULTANT CLIENT SIDE / AGENCY SIDE EXPERIENCE PROFESSOR AND COLUMNIST ENTREPRENEUR / SMALL BUSINESS OWNER PHD MATERIALS SCIENCE (MIT '95) AT AGE 23 @acfou ClickZ Articles: Slideshares: LinkedIn:
  21. 21. Augustine Fou- 21 - Related Articles Fake YouTube Videos By: Augustine Fou, December 2013 Motive and Opportunity for Ad Fraud By: Augustine Fou, February 2014 Fake Facebook Profiles By: Augustine Fou, Dec 2013 Fake Twitter Accounts By: Augustine Fou, August 2013 Display Fraud 101 (video) By: Augustine Fou, Feb 2014 Augustine Fou- 21 - ROI Case for Solving Ad Fraud By: Augustine Fou January 2014 Digital Ad Fraud Briefing By: Augustine Fou December 2013 How Display Fraud Works By: Augustine Fou, May 2013 How Click Fraud Works By: Augustine Fou, November 2013 The Magnitude of Digital Ad Fraud By: Augustine Fou, November 2013