Today, White Ops announced that it has uncovered a large-scale online advertising criminal operation. They’ve dubbed it “Methbot” and have estimated that these cybercriminals are making up to $5 million per day, by generating up to 300 million fake “video impressions.” The Methbot operation is thought to be the most profitable attack on advertisers, programmatic platforms and publishers ever discovered.
Controlled by a singular group based in Russia and utilizing data centers in both the U.S. and Netherlands, this “bot farm” generates between $3 and $5 million in fraudulent revenue daily by targeting the premium video advertising ecosystem, which operates with some of the highest CPMs in the programmatic space. Methbot sent back false verification signals to impersonate viewability measurements and pass off impressions as valid to advertisers. Due to the scale of the operation, this is considered one of the most sophisticated cyber enterprises ever.
At DataXu, we take all forms of ad fraud very seriously. DataXu employs a defense-in-depth approach, which utilizes multiple filters to ensure ads deliver to real consumers in a safe and fraud-free environment. Our fraud protection system successfully protected our customers from Methbot, limiting spend to less than $700 per day throughout the month of December across all advertisers. We have also taken the immediate action of blocking all IP addresses associated with the fraudulent operation. We’re working closely with our partners, both on the measurement and supply side, to continue to protect our customers’ investments.
DataXu has always been dedicated to shielding our customers from fraudulent attacks, and is proud to offer our omni-channel, 97% Fraud Free Guarantee at no cost for over two years. To learn more about our quality solutions, please reach out to your DataXu Representative.