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Security Apple

Flashback Click Fraud Campaign Was a Bust 29

Posted by Soulskill
from the peter-principle-for-black-hats dept.
zarmanto writes "It seems the Flashback botnet has netted their creators nothing but frustration. Flashback was tagged early on by anti-virus vendors, who promptly sink-holed many of the command & control addresses, and essentially crippled the hacker's ability to control the vast majority of the Flashback botnet... but that's not the best part. The Flashback spawned click fraud campaign resulted in... nada! It seems that their pay-per-click affiliate may be on to their scheme, as they refused to pay out. Score one for the good guys, for once."
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Flashback Click Fraud Campaign Was a Bust

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  • over 10 million ads on compromised computers but only a small percentage of users who were shown ads actually clicked them, with close to 400,000 ads being clicked

    That's a very high click-through rate. What was it that enticed so many morons to click on an advertisement? Nobody I know ever clicks on that kind of crap.

    • oh you'll be surprised... don't be alarmed if one day you discover someone inside your own house is ad-clicking, or worse, can't tell the difference between a real button, and a flash-drawn ad button... and here i thought, my people would know better after all these years of obviously useless rants from my side....
      • by tomhath (637240) on Friday May 18, 2012 @06:40PM (#40047457)
        Not likely. We use Firefox and Adblock, so pretty much anything that looks like an ad is suspect. Only fools click on them.
        • by tomhath (637240)
          Oh, and Flashblock too, so your flash-drawn buttons are pretty obvious.
        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          Not everyone is net savvy you know. I have been teaching a neighbor who was computer illiterate and I've had to go through explaining as many of the tricks as i could off the top of my head but he STILL ended up with a bug trying to install itself because he used a local Wifi hotspot that required IE and thus blew my adblock and pop up blocking all to crap.

          Luckily i taught him to always listen to the AV and if the AV said no them dammit don't do it, so when the AV popped up and said "Don't run that!" he l

          • by Anonymous Coward

            It's okay, these supposed brilliant tech people that call everyone fools probably wouldn't know the first thing about fixing their car engine..... They take it to the mechanic, who's probably the 'fool' that clicks on ads.

            • by tlhIngan (30335)

              It's okay, these supposed brilliant tech people that call everyone fools probably wouldn't know the first thing about fixing their car engine..... They take it to the mechanic, who's probably the 'fool' that clicks on ads.

              Exactly. People forget that computers and cars are basically required tools in modern society. You can get along never OWNING one, but it won't be long before you're required to USE one (even if it's not yours). Teaching them all the ins and outs of these required machines is a futile effo

      • by rtb61 (674572)

        Fake buttons. So where can you generate lots of clicks, continually update the software to hide the source, hmm, flash based games.

        If you going to cheat you might as well cheat big time, without breaking the law. So insert adds into games, that have to be clicked, that open a new background or re-open it in an already open background window.

        So objective achieved lots of click throughs with the end user none the wiser or unhappy about making the clicks, as long as they want to play the game of course th

    • by Zocalo (252965)
      We're not talking about a typical cross-section of users here, remember? Apple might not have responded in a prompt manner with a fix, but the AV vendors etc. had detection routines in place very quickly indeed and yet they still got infected, so we can reasonably expect a higher than average proportion of users that are either not keeping up to date with security tools and their updates, or are not running any at all. If they don't grasp that concept, then why should they know that clicking on ads and li
  • The only one who wins here is the ad affiliate.

    • Yep, I'd bet on no refunds to the people who actually got clickfrauded.

      • by Spamalope (91802)

        Yep, I'd bet on no refunds to the people who actually got clickfrauded.

        Exactly. The other possibility is that the ad affiliate actually paid the botnet owner for the clickfraud to 'legitimize' extra charges to the advertisers.

  • by MogNuts (97512) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @10:37AM (#40051411)

    Let's not forget who we're dealing with here. Apple makes their business duping people and manipulating people into thinking thing's are magical. The heavy-handed way they deal with press is well known.

    That said, all it takes is one "leaked" story or one bough-and-paid-for (or influenced) study or online news site to say that its a bust and poof! Malware makers will suddenly think it's not profitable to write malware for iOS/OS X.

    So don't buy it. Apple has had a history of malware, and a record amount of malware and vulnerabilities in it's user software (Quicktime, ITunes, Safari, etc.).

    Apple malware will rise. And their BS sandboxing method isn't gonna stop it.

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay

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