Botnets boost click-fraud rate UserPageVisits:210 active 80 80 DaniWeb 561 60 2008-07-23T19:06:16+00:00

Botnets boost click-fraud rate


It seems that botnet usage could have been behind an increase in the number of click fraud clicks cited in the latest Click Fraud Index which monitors such things.

Running for three years now, the index monitors and analyses data from more than 4000 online advertisers and advertising agencies. The Pay Per Click data is collected from online advertising campaigns, large and small, across all leading search engines.

The latest report suggests that while the overall industry average click fraud rate was down 0.1 percent from last quarter to 16.2 percent. it was up from the 15.8 percent rate this time last year. However, the average click fraud rate of PPC advertisements appearing on Google AdSense, Yahoo Publisher Network and other search engine operated schemes was up from 25.6 percent this time last year to 27.6 percent.

Interestingly though, and for the first time, the traffic from botnets was responsible for more than 25 percent of all click fraud traffic.

When it comes to a geographic breakdown, North America rules the roost (although percentage figures were not readily available as I write this) but outside of the US China accounted for 4.3 percent, Russia 3.5 percent and France 3.2 percent.

“Although click fraud rates were relatively unchanged in the second quarter, we found that the methods used to commit click fraud have become increasingly more sophisticated and difficult to detect,” said Tom Cuthbert, president of Click Forensics. “The threat from botnets is the biggest concern as they have grown to cause over one quarter of all click fraud. Online advertisers should be extra vigilant in watching for traffic from botnets in their search marketing campaigns.”

About the Author

A freelance technology journalist for 30 years, I have been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro (one of the best selling computer magazines in the UK) for most of them. As well as currently contributing to, The Times and Sunday Times via Raconteur Special Reports, SC Magazine UK, Digital Health, IT Pro and Infosecurity Magazine, I am also something of a prolific author. My last book, Being Virtual: Who You Really are Online, which was published in 2008 as part of the Science Museum TechKnow Series by John Wiley & Sons. I am also the only three times winner (2006, 2008, 2010) of the BT Information Security Journalist of the Year title, and was humbled to be presented with the ‘Enigma Award’ for a ‘lifetime contribution to information security journalism’ in 2011 despite my life being far from over...