Badvertisements: Stealthy Click-Fraud with Unwitting Accessories

Markus Jakobsson, IUB

We describe a new type of threat to the Internet infrastructure, in the shape of a highly efficient but very well camouflaged click-fraud attack on the advertising infrastructure, not using any type of malware. The attack, which we refer to as a "badvertisement", is described and experimentally verified on several prominent advertisement schemes. This stealthy attack can be thought of as a threatening mutation of spam and phishing attacks, with which it has many commonalities, except for the fact that it is not the targeted individual who is the victim in the attack, but the advertiser.

Joint work with Mona Gandhi and Jacob Ratkiewicz. A copy of the paper can be found at

18 September (Monday) at 1630 hrs

Gates 4B (opposite 490)