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Professor Detects New Generation of Click-Fraud

  • Forbes, Wednesday, January 13, 2010 3:26 PM
Harvard Business School professor Ben Edelman has revealed what he says is a new form of click fraud that accomplishes what watchdogs once thought impossible: "A scam that not only simulates valid clicks on a Google ad sold to an advertiser, but seems to result in a real customer who spends money on the advertiser's site," writes Forbes. Says Edelman: "This is a particularly insidious kind of click fraud ... It takes more effort to organize, but it gives the perpetrator the capacity to impose charges in a way that's much harder for the advertiser to notice."

Edelman goes on to describe how the complex and stealthy click fraud scheme works, explaining that perpetrators of the fraud -- who run a site called -- make a deal to host Google's pay-per-click ads through a long string of Google affiliate partners, each of which agree to place their ads on other sites in exchange for a share of those ads' revenue. The owners of the site then infect Web surfers' machines with spyware through a common cybercriminal tactic, exploiting a security vulnerability in either Windows XP or Internet Explorer when the user visits a popular, compromised Web site.



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2 comments about "Professor Detects New Generation of Click-Fraud".
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  1. Dave Felipe from, January 14, 2010 at 11:10 a.m.

    More evidence that click fraud perpetrators are getting more creative and devious in their schemes. Online advertisers MUST educate themselves on click fraud as much as possible to avoid falling prey to these people. And if you're an e-tailer/merchant, it's in your best interests to not only keep track of the sites you're listed on, but also pursue advertising opportunities that do not employ the classic PPC model. (<a href=""></a> ) charges its merchants a flat monthly fee to post their products, thus eliminating any threat of click fraud.

  2. Nathan Krug from, January 14, 2010 at 7:07 p.m.

    There are just a few companies that are dedicated to click fraud elimination. If left unchecked, CPC and PPC can increase the cost marketing drastically. One such company is ( that is more focused to curbing this activity. They only charge a small fee for unlimited clicks for all their listed merchants.

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