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article imageeZanga discovers a new botnet affecting advertisers and users

By Adam Dawson     Apr 2, 2015 in Technology
A new piece of malware that clandestinely hijacks web browsers and uses them to farm lucrative, but fraudulent, ad click-throughs has been discovered spreading across unsuspecting users’ computers.
This fraud string, similar to the Chameleon Botnet of 2013, was discovered by eZanga, a company that specializes in online advertising, publishing and click-fraud security.
The new malware has already affected tens of thousands of computers and could potentially cost advertisers billions of dollars in fraudulent traffic. eZanga CEO Richard Kahn said that the heretofore unknown malware has been able to spread rapidly because it keeps its activity hidden beyond the awareness of most users.
“If more ad networks and site owners simply turn on the built in security of their web servers, it will help eliminate this type of fraud,” Kahn said. “As an industry we tend to compete with each other in solving the same issue. However, if we work together, we can accomplish our common goal much faster.”
Hackers have also used the new program to inject scripts that drop tracking pixels into unsuspecting websites and to insert scripts that make high-traffic sites susceptible to future attacks from other companies. A number of third-party platforms are currently not identifying this new malware and have been counting the traffic as legitimate.
Kahn suggested that advertisers work closely with traffic vendors to ensure that they’re doing whatever it takes to detect this sort of click-fraud before it becomes problematic.
“Work with a company that has devoted time to researching and developing its own click-fraud technology,” Kahn said in an article for iMediaConnection.com. “If you stay ahead of the curve in dealing with click fraud and find a company with the same attitude, you can consistently maintain clean, qualified and performing traffic for your advertising campaign.”
More about eZanga, clickfraud, payperclick, Marketing, Advertising
 
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