Click Forensics presented a good report recently on the Bahama Botnet, that they describe as “one of the most advanced sources of click fraud we’ve seen.” They describe a network redirecting traffic through 200,000 parked domain in the Bahamas plus others in Europe and the USA. This is a network that seems to be closely connected to the scareware attack on the New York Times a few weeks ago and is seriously affecting affiliate and network revenues. As well as big players such as Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.
In combination with the Sophos report, Click Forensics’ post provides us with a remarkable glimpse into the sophistication of these networks and the scale of click fraud, commission-stealing, phishing and scareware installation that is occurring right under our noses.
Ad networks, merchants, publishers and affiliates, all need to ramp up their fraud prevention initiatives. These are well-organized criminal gangs and if you run a successful site, there’s a pretty good chance they’ll target it at some point. Be aware.