The United States DOJ Dismantles International Ad Fraud Cybercriminal Ring


Fully [H]
Apr 10, 2003
The United States Department of Justice has arrested three foreign nationals and charged a total of eight people with running an international cybercriminal ring called 3ve that bilked over $30 million from the digital advertising industry. The charges in the 13-count indictment include wire fraud, computer intrusion, aggravated identity theft and money laundering. These brazen criminals from Russia and Kazakhstan allegedly created fake websites and infected millions of computers around the world with malicious software to automate the viewing of digital advertising.

They also rented servers and 1,900 computers in Dallas, Texas and loaded ads onto fabricated websites to spoof more than 5,000 domains. These computers ran software that pretended to be real internet users by signing into Facebook, clicking on videos and pausing / resuming it to simulate human activity, enlisted the use of a fake mouse program to scroll down webpages and pretended that the computers were connected to 650,000 IP addresses from various internet providers. Google, which says that it lost millions to the scam, and White Ops Inc. assisted in the investigation and botnet takedown. A list of the malware used by the criminals can be viewed here.

"As alleged in court filings, the defendants in this case used sophisticated computer programming and infrastructure around the world to exploit the digital advertising industry through fraud," stated United States Attorney Donoghue. "As alleged, these individuals built complex, fraudulent digital advertising infrastructure for the express purpose of misleading and defrauding companies who believed they were acting in good faith, and costing them millions of dollars. This kind of exploitation undermines confidence in the system, on the part of both companies and their customers," stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney. "Thanks to the hard work of our legal attaches and law enforcement partners overseas, with the cooperation of our international and U.S.-based private sector partners, the defendants will face justice for their alleged crimes."
"Google, which says that it lost millions to the scam" Is this a lot? That sounds like the amount Google would lose in the couch cushions in change each day.
Impressive actually. Would like to have seen their setup to do all that

also, have to admit, my shits given meter is finding it hard to get off the zero peg that they were bilking the internet ad business
"Google, which says that it lost millions to the scam" Is this a lot? That sounds like the amount Google would lose in the couch cushions in change each day.

It's also BS. Google only gains from ad fraud. It's the poor bastard paying to advertise that gets screwed. Google takes their percentage and looks the other way until, like this, an operation becomes too large to hide.
As someone who has actually paid to do legit advertising on Google services (AdWords, YouTube, etc), I'm glad they're handling this. Small businesses can get ripped off by things like this and wonder why their advertising doesn't work, that's not fair.