Are sophisticated click fraud schemes, like the Chameleon, utilizing botnets to rob affiliates partners and operators every month?
According to a recent report from eZanga, a click fraud protection program, that’s exactly what’s happening and it’s costing webmaster as much as $6.2 million every month.
Here’s a few botnet basics that every gambling affiliate should know about.
What are Botnets?
Botnets are large groups of PCs that are surreptitiously controlled by hackers to perform specific tasks, such as clicking on ads.
While no one is certain how many zombie computers are active and/or infected, most experts believe that they’re responsible for plenty of click fraud and at least half of all spam worldwide.
Identifying Botnet Attacks
As botnet attacks become more sophisticated, identifying them is becoming a lot tougher than it once was. Botnets like the Chameleon are practically impossible to tell from real users. Chameleon clicks a number of different links on any given pages and does a great job impersonating human behavior.
One tell-tale sign of a Chameleon attack is a pattern of rapid visitors followed by a crash, and a return to high activity. Webmaster can also look for repeat visits from the same IP addresses in a very short time.
Preventing Botnet Atacks
Besides doing things like keeping Firewalls secure and anti-virus software up to date, affiliate webmasters can also purchase third-party applications like eZanga (and others) that block traffic from IP addresses that are known to harbor zombies.
It’s a big scary world out there on the Web, but the more preventative measures gambling affiliates take, the better off their sites will be.
Have your sites, or home PC, been impacted by botnet zombie armies? Share your experiences in the comments section below.