Did you hear about MethBot?
This is “bot farm” controlled by a single group based in Russia and operating out of data centers in the US and Netherlands. It generates $3 to $5 million in fraudulent revenue per day by targeting the premium video advertising ecosystem.
Few facts how they work
Pretending to being human
Methbot operators use this industry approach to their advantage and stuff crafted cookies into fake web sessions by leveraging a common open source library which allows them to maintain persistent identities containing information known to be seen electronically as valuable to advertisers. In this way they take advantage of the higher CPMs advertisers are willing to spend on more precisely targeted audiences. Methbot operators also forge tried-and true industry measures of humanity. Cursor movements and clicks are faked and multiple viewability measures are faked to further mimic observed trends in human behavior. Additionally, sophisticated techniques are employed to provide an even more convincing picture of humanity. Methbot forges fake social network login information to make it appear as if a user is logged in when an impression occurs.
Geolocation Provider Dataset Manipulation
Programmatic advertising typically uses geolocation providers to ensure ads are delivered to desired geographic regions, often at premium prices. Manipulating this data so it appears to have originated from more “premium” regions can increase the value of the fraudulent inventory.
Behaviors Methbot uses several techniques to evade detection logic and spoof verification measurements in order to ensure high value for the operation’s fabricated inventory.