Botnets have been an increasingly prevalent problem for some time now. Often, they’re born through misleading methods of installing malware onto unsuspecting user machines. Those machines can then be instructed to act according to a threat actor’s wishes. One of the prime objectives of these digital deviants is online advertising fraud.
In 2023, ad fraud is projected to reach over $100 billion, with botnets being significant contributors to this costly criminal activity. These droves of malware-infected computers report to a command-and-control server that provides their nefarious instructions. The machines appear to be legitimate, but are used to carry out criminal actions. Let’s cover two of the leading challenges in botnet detection to keep your ad spend safe.
What Are the Challenges of Detecting Botnets?
So what are some challenges in detecting botnets? As mentioned earlier, part of the detection issue with botnets is that the cybercriminals leverage legitimate machines. Because bot machines are being controlled without the owner’s awareness, it’s easier to sneak past security checks. Even worse, these machines can even include mobile devices.
One of the largest examples of this was uncovered by Anura in 2017 with the discovery of 1,300 apps on the Google Play store running ad fraud schemes stealing upwards of $3 Billion each year. These apps enabled fraudsters to hide code that allowed them to control thousands of phones. So why do these types of schemes go undetected for so long?
Spoofed Domains and IP Addresses
By burying obfuscated code deep within free-to-download live wallpaper apps, fraudsters were able to take control of numerous phones without owners ever knowing. This enabled fraudsters to drive false engagement with ads, costing advertisers huge sums. The potential annual loss for advertisers came in at $3 billion, all without phone owners ever being aware of the role they played in helping fraudsters.
Potential For False Positives
No one wants to lose ad spend on mismatching legitimate visitors as fraud. But unfortunately, false positives are another massive challenge when it comes to botnet detection. Some hacking tools and vulnerability scanners behave like real human visitors, which can lead to higher rates of false positives.
To put this in perspective, studies have found that 55% of IT professionals get more than 10,000 security alerts daily. Of these, most solutions have 10-15% rates of false positives on average. That’s a lot of lost potential revenue. Compared with Anura, which has almost none at a 99.999% accuracy rate, it’s clear why botnet detection demands the best solution.
Of course, there are a host of reasons why so many solutions generate false positives for ad fraud, so it’s key to find a botnet detection solution like Anura that can help prevent these types of losses.
Protecting the Ad Ecosystem
Anti-fraud solutions can provide scalable protection from botnets when manual solutions fall short. Staying up to date on the latest botnet hiding methods is a never-ending task. That’s why integrating a botnet detection solution like Anura is essential.
Fortunately, botnet ad fraud detection is possible using the power of machine learning. Through the analysis of hundreds of data points across platforms, botnets can be detected and blocked in real-time with Anura.
Detect Botnets In Real Time With Anura
Avoid false positives and ad-spend theft by detecting botnets in real-time. Anura delivers the deepest, most accurate botnet detection so you can act in real time. Through machine learning, our integration analyzes hundreds of data points to detect the botnets that others can’t.
Protect your ad spend from botnets today by starting a free trial.