Newsletters
The Enterprise Security Supersite NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
Home Network Security Viruses & Malware Cybercrime Security Solutions More Topics...
APC Free White Paper
Optimize your network investment &
Enter to win a Samsung Galaxy Note

www.apc.com
Network Security
Next Generation Data Center Is Here!
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Chameleon Botnet Costing Display Advertisers Millions
Chameleon Botnet Costing Display Advertisers Millions

By Jennifer LeClaire
March 20, 2013 10:04AM

Bookmark and Share
The Chameleon botnet makes a display-advertising click look more "human" by randomly moving the cursor and the place where the mouse clicks, said security researcher Graham Cluley. "Advertising networks...need to work harder at identifying the difference between a genuine user clicking on an ad, and a compromised computer," he said.
 


Another month, another botnet. Spider.io is reporting a botnet it claims is costing display advertisers more than $6 million a month through click fraud.

Dubbed the Chameleon botnet, Spider.io said it is notable for the size of its financial impact. If the numbers hold true, the Chameleon botnet is costing display advertisers at least 70 times more than the Bamital botnet that Microsoft and Symantec took down in February.

But the security firm said the Chameleon botnet is arguably even more notable for the fact that it's the first found to impact display advertisers at scale, as opposed to text-link advertisers. Spider.io reports more than 120,000 host machines have been infected, and 95 percent of those machines access the Web from residential IP addresses in the United States.

"Display advertisers use algorithms with varying degrees of complexity to target their advertising at the most appropriate Web site visitors," Spider.io said in a blog post. "These algorithms involve continually measuring Web sites and their visitors to determine engagement levels with Web site content and with ad creatives. For the Chameleon botnet to evade detection and to impact display advertisers to the extent that it has requires a surprising level of sophistication."

A True Chameleon

Graham Cluley, a senior security consultant at Sophos, told us that despite the work among search engine giants to curb it, click fraud is still an issue.

"The Chameleon botnet, and other attacks like it, are mimicking the clicks made by Internet users to make it appear as though online advertising campaigns are working, driving traffic to advertisers' Web sites," Cluley said.

In Chameleon's case, he explained, it makes the click look more "human" by randomly moving the cursor and the place where the mouse clicks, and pretending to be Internet Explorer 9.0 running on Windows 7. However, he added, if advertising networks were to distrust clicks from IE9 running on Windows 7, that would obviously block a large number of legitimate clicks.

Danger to Consumers?

"Advertising networks -- not the advertisers themselves -- need to work harder at identifying the difference between a genuine user clicking on an ad, and a compromised computer that has been turned into a click-fraud bot," Cluley said. "That's not necessarily an easy challenge to overcome."

But what about the end user? Is there any threat to consumers here? Does the botnet do anything else harmful to the victim's computer or just use them as a mule?

"There's nothing to stop a botnet being used in ways that would be financially harmful to the PC owner," Cluley said. "Obviously even if it only conducted click fraud, it would be eating up bandwidth and computer resources, but most likely it would be doing other 'bad stuff' too."
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

shailendra:

Posted: 2013-03-20 @ 10:20pm PT
Regarding an internet advertising campaign for your brand, you would be surprised to find out that online ads are not at all expensive. There are even free of cost advertising options for small advertisers. Depending upon the type of promotion campaign you want to launch for your brand, you can choose the right form of internet advertising. Banner advertising, PPC ads, Viral marketing, Email marketing, Wap advertising, Social networking ads, Pop ups etc. are some forms of internet advertising adopted by advertisers and brand owners.



APC has an established a reputation for solid products that virtually pay for themselves upon installation. Who has time to spend worrying about system downtime? APC makes it easy for you to focus on business growth instead of business downtime with reliable data center systems and IT solutions. Learn more here.


 Network Security
1.   Tor Internet Privacy Service Breached
2.   Canada Says China Hacked Gov't
3.   Tor Working To Fix Security Exploit
4.   Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
5.   Dropbox for Business Boosts Security


advertisement
Tor Internet Privacy Service Breached
Users should assume they're affected.
Average Rating:
Tor Working To Fix Security Exploit
Bug reportedly reveals ID of users
Average Rating:
New Technology Defeats Privacy Efforts
Study identifies 3 browser techniques.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Tor Internet Privacy Service Warns Users It Was Breached
You may never have heard of the Tor Project, but the Internet privacy service is making headlines. Tor’s devs say users might be victims of an attack launched against the project earlier this year.
 
Canadian Government Charges China with Cyberattack
The government of Canada is not happy with China. Canadian officials have accused "a highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor" of launching a cyberattack on its National Research Council.
 
Researchers Working To Fix Tor Security Exploit
Developers for the Tor privacy browser are scrambling to fix a bug revealed Monday that researchers say could allow hackers, or government surveillance agencies, to track users online.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
AMD's ARM-Based Opteron Out in $3K Dev Kit
It's dubbed "Seattle" and it's AMD's first 64-bit ARM-based Opteron processor. The low-power chip is being released as part of AMD’s Opteron A1100-series developer kit, and aimed at high-end data center needs.
 
Apple Updates MacBook Pros, Cuts Prices Up to $100
The popular MacBook Pro laptop line just got an update and a price cut of as much as $100. The MacBook Pro with Retina display now includes faster processors and double the memory.
 
Dell, BlackBerry Not Sweating Apple-IBM Alliance
IBM's recent move to partner with Apple to sell iPhones and iPads loaded with corporate applications has excited investors in both companies, but two rivals say they are unperturbed for now.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Virgin Mobile Offers Custom Smartphone Plans
As the wireless carrier wars continue heating up, Virgin Mobile just threw the customization coal onto the fire. The firm has debuted a no-annual-contract plan with rates based on individual use.
 
Collaboration Provider Asana Revamps Mobile App
Asana, a collaboration software provider started by a Facebook founder, is now out with a rebuilt native iOS mobile app. It replaces one that even the company admits was not up to par.
 
FTC Wants Fix for 'Perfect Scam' of Mobile Cramming
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has issued new guidelines to curb “mobile cramming,” a troublesome practice that adds unauthorized third-party charges to mobile phone bills.
 

Navigation
Enterprise Security Today
Home/Top News | Network Security | Viruses & Malware | Cybercrime | Security Solutions | Mobile Security | Disaster Recovery | Windows Security
Data Security | EST Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.