Sunday, February 10, 2013
An Estonian man charged with participating in a click-fraud campaign that infected at least four million computers in 100 countries with malware pleaded guilty to fraud and computer charges. He could face up to 25 years in prison for his crimes and be forced to pay $7 million for his part in the operation.
Operation Ghost Click, impacted around 500,000 computers in the United States, including computers belonging to NASA and other government agencies, educational institutions, nonprofits, commercial businesses and individuals.
Six Estonians and one Russian to be arrested in 2011 for the scheme that included infecting computers with DNSChanger malware, which reroutes traffic on compromised machines to websites and online advertisements of the attackers' choosing – a hacker method known as clickjacking. The scam redirect users from highly visited sites, like the Wall Street Journal, iTunes and Netflix, earning the charged men at least $14 million in fraudulent commissions unknowingly paid for by legitimate advertisers.
Meanwhile at Facebook:
Charity Engine, a United Kingdom cloud computing company, has alleged that Facebook is “allowing click fraud on a massive scale.”
“Facebook is allowing click-fraud on a massive scale, letting millions of fake profiles join millions of fan pages and charging those page owners for every fake click of their FB adverts,” the post said. “They won’t let pages contact or even view their own fans (really!), so nobody knows how many fakes they really have – except Facebook, and they’re not telling. They won’t allow an independent audit of their advert system either. It’s a huge scam.”
But don't worry. Google has on-board a Click-Fraud Czar" and he's on it.