Newsletters
The Enterprise Security Supersite NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Please click for more information, or scroll down to pass the ad, or Close Ad.
Home Network Security Viruses & Malware Hackers Security Solutions More Topics...
APC Free White Paper
Optimize your network investment &
Enter to win a Samsung Galaxy Note

www.apc.com
Windows Security
24/7/365 Network Uptime
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.


 Windows Security
1.   Patch Tuesday Offers Critical Fixes
2.   Microsoft Pulls Plug on Windows XP
3.   Against a Wall, Some Buy XP Support
4.   Last Fixes Tuesday for XP, Office 2003
5.   Despite Its Age, XP Remains a Favorite


advertisement
Last Fixes Tuesday for XP, Office 2003
Microsoft closing out support for two.
Average Rating:
Windows 8 Updates Expected Soon
Using OS feedback, security concerns.
Average Rating:
Microsoft Pulls Plug on Windows XP
Third-party workarounds abound.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Tips To Defeat the Heartbleed Bug
Heartbleed headlines continue as IT admins scramble for answers no one has. Early reports of stolen personal data, including 900 social insurance numbers in Canada, are starting to trickle in.
 
NSC Backs Disclosing Software Vulnerabilities
Disclosing vulnerabilities in commercial and open source software is in the national interest and shouldn't be withheld unless there is a clear need, says the National Security Council.
 
Heartbleed Flaw Affects Hardware, Too
It appears the Heartbleed security bug affects not just Web sites, but also the networking equipment that connects businesses and homes to the Net, including Cisco and Juniper's equipment.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Vaio Fit 11A Battery Danger Forces Recall by Sony
Using a Sony Vaio Fit 11A laptop? It's time to send it back to Sony. In fact, Sony is encouraging people to stop using the laptop after several reports of its Panasonic battery overheating.
 
Continued Drop in Global PC Shipments Slows
Worldwide shipments of PCs fell during the first three months of the year, but the global slump in PC demand may be easing, with a considerable slowdown from last year's drops.
 
Google Glass Finds a Home in Medical Education, Practice
Google Glass may find its first markets in verticals in which hands-free access to data is a boon. Medicine is among the most prominent of those, as seen in a number of Glass experiments under way.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Is Amazon Launching a 3D Smartphone?
Once known for selling books on an e-commerce platform, Amazon is now a bona fide hardware maker -- and it's reportedly rolling out an innovative smartphone with a 3D screen.
 
Review: S5 Features Useful, Less About Gimmicks
There's a lot to like about Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone -- among them, its relative lack of features. Samsung chose to focus on features people might actually want, not gimmicks.
 
Analyst: Samsung Galaxy S5 Won't Sway iPhone Lovers
The Samsung Galaxy S5 hits store shelves on Friday and the reviews are starting to pour in. The question is: Can the latest in the Galaxy line grab more market share from Appleā€™s iPhone?
 

Navigation
Enterprise Security Today
Home/Top News | Network Security | Viruses & Malware | Hackers | 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 | XML/RSS Feed

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.