Massive Click Fraud Ring Shut Down

One of the largest ever

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One of the largest click fraud rings ever detected, originating from China, has been shut down by click fraud monitoring firm Anchor Intelligence.

"This is really the first time anyone has ever been able to catch click fraudsters ‘in the act.’ Anchor has identified fraudsters down to the publisher site, IPs used (likely via botnets), and even the names and address of some perpetrators," an Anchor spokesperson told WebProNews. 

"We have an ongoing collaboration with the San Francisco Division of the FBI as well as the National Cyber-Forensics & Training Alliance (NCFTA) to share insights about the tactics used by these and other click fraud perpetrators."

The Chinese fraud ring consisted of thousands of publishers who created websites and generated fake ad traffic on these sites with the purpose of defrauding ad networks and advertisers.

Anchor says the click fraud hit the ads of nearly 2,000 advertisers across multiple ad networks. The clicks originated from 200,000 IPs, and if undetected would have cost the affected advertisers over $3 million over the course of a year.

Click Fraud Shut Down

The fraudsters dubbed "DormRing1" by Anchor because many of the people involved were students operating out of dormitories at Shanghai Technology Institute and other Chinese technical universities.  Working with one of its ad network customers, Anchor tracked the operations of DormRing1 by gaining access to exclusive bulletin boards on various Chinese social networking sites.

"Click fraud rings are active across the Internet and constantly evolving their tactics while trolling for vulnerable networks and advertisers," said Ken Miller, CEO of Anchor Intelligence.

Massive Click Fraud Ring Shut Down
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  • http://ProstateCancerVictory.com Prostate Cancer Conquerer

    It’s rings like these that give the business a bad name. It’s a good thing that it’s being shut down. I hope they find and shut down menu, especially in India and China.

  • http://www.20bucksorless.com Steve

    I’m shocked that with as much money as they could’ve made off with that they’d get caught so easily.

    You’d think with as much money as they were about to pull in they could’ve setup real websites and mixed in their phony traffic with that of normal users and really give the fraud hunters a run for their money. I mean what’s ten or twenty thousand dollars in development costs when you are scamming millions in the end?

  • http://eScoutRoom.com Steve

    Any large click fraud groups that can be shut down improves the overall industry and makes adsense more profitable for the legit operators.

  • http://www.oldnewsads.com/ Dave

    I wonder who the Ad Networks were. They all say they are the “trusted” network and all employ some sort of fraud protection!

  • http://www.epicinternetventures.com Clay Bowden

    Nice to see that they do have a way to police this. As someone said earlier, this will further help strengthen the legitimate guys. But you know with this comes a price too. In the long term scheme of things you know they are going to start cracking down heavily and maybe even reducing this type of advertising because eventually it will become too costly to police.

  • http://referencedesigner.com Vikas Shukla

    While this big ring seems to have been detected, there is probably many smaller publishers who do frauds at a smaller level individually. The sum involved may be small amount but collectively it will be in millions of dollars. Policing them will not be cost effective

  • Edward

    If only they had the FBI around prior to the financial crisis …

  • http://hubpages.com/profile/dame+scribe Gin

    It is too bad that countries that are not part of the Copyright Act are able to access protected countries. I am glad there is a monitoring force in place, job well done I say!

  • http://www.agayomato.com free acne care info

    We have to be vary of traffic packages offer by suspecting company. Some offer a few thousand clicks/visitors for a couple of dollars. If their offers seem too good to resist better stay away. I guess most of these companies are prying on new website owners who are in dire need of visitors. Just wondering whether traffic exchanges do collaborate with these fraud rings too?

  • http://www.floralyellowpages.com flower shops

    i had somebody do this to me a month ago hacked my Google adwords account and everything
    ran crazy campaigns thank god Google caught them from the jump

  • http://adscendmedia.com CPA Affiliate Network

    To Steve,
    It looks like thye did mix real traffic with their fake traffic. Look closely at the screenshot and you’ll see in the color-coded dots that green dots represent billable clicks. Yellow is non-malicious and red is fraud.
    It may not represent just the fraud ring though, I’m not actually sure.

  • http://www.advancecom.co.uk Guest

    some good news

  • http://www.allaboutstopsnoring.com Dr mohamed zedan

    200,000 Ips ?
    first I hope that there is no mistake about them.

    then I am glade to know that they are cached

  • http://www.seocentre.com.au seo

    That’s not good news. Youe spent all this money in ppc thinking that will help you drive sales or add members to your site but not so. I should re thinking my google adwords strategy.

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