White Ops, a cybersecurity company, says the operation called ‘Methbot” is controlled by a single group in Russia operating data centers in the U.S. and Netherlands.
One estimate says the theft could have siphoned over $200 million in total so far.
The Russian group created more than a half million fake users and generated 250,000 fake sites. The scam uses bots to “watch” video ads. It fooled advertisers into paying for massive impressions up to 300 million phony video ads a day.
Web sites being scammed include ESPN, Fox News, Fortune, Vogue, Huffington Post, The Economist and CBS Sports.
The hackers use falsified documents/data gained access to 571,904 real IP addresses with internet service providers like Verizon, Comcast, AT&T, Cox, CenturyLink and Time Warner Cable.