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2 min read

How Do Botnets Operate and What Does a Botnet Attack Look Like?

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Ad fraud is projected to exceed $100 billion in 2023. One of the largest contributors to this growing trend is botnets. This technical method of controlling multiple computers can skim money from ad campaigns in a variety of ways. By infiltrating everything from smartphones to corporate servers, botnets are remarkably effective at mounting large-scale attacks.

When this power is directed toward advertising campaigns, companies can lose millions each month. This article will cover how botnets operate so you can learn what it takes to protect your business.

How Are Botnets Used for Ad Fraud?

Understanding how botnets can be used for a host of nefarious purposes is critical to protecting your business from ad fraud. So how do botnets operate and what do they do?

Controlling A Sea of Computers

Fraudsters can only accomplish so much with a single computer or a small team of them. To overcome this hurdle to earning more, these criminals look for ways to control tons of computers to do their bidding.

The lead fraudster that runs a botnet is called a bot herder, who runs a collection of infected devices using remote commands. The technical tools used to make this all possible could be custom-coded by a hacker or simply rented for a nominal fee.

Computers controlled by bot herders are called zombie computers, or bots. Typically, malware is used to gain access and take over control of the computer for all sorts of purposes. One of the things these computers are often directed at is stealing from ad campaign budgets.

Ad Fraud Botnet Attacks

Bot herders commonly build ad fraud schemes that leverage thousands of infected computers to virtually “click” on ads placed on fraudulent websites. Each click then pays the fraudster a small cut of the ad revenue. On the advertiser’s side, this looks like a rush of promising action. But then conversion rate averages take a dive, draining ad budgets without delivering legitimate sales.

What Are The Challenges Of Detecting Botnets?

Perhaps the biggest challenge of detecting botnets is that zombie computers are often owned by real people. Because their devices are being controlled without their knowledge, the digital footprints they leave appear legitimate. So what can you do to prevent botnets from striking your ad spend?

How to Prevent Botnets from Inflating Ad Bids

Security awareness is increasingly crucial in today’s digital environment. There are countless fraudsters working on new methods of scamming individuals and companies out of money online. This is why using a detection solution is an essential element of stopping botnets in their tracks.

Detection solutions bring the ease of automated analysis to the table. As fraudsters increasingly learn to build botnets that behave like humans, more advanced measures are required. To uncover botnet activity, multiple points of data need to be cross-referenced. That’s where a detection solution like Anura comes in.

Why Choose Anura

Protecting your business from botnets takes constant vigilance. Nothing offers more insight in real time than Anura’s ad fraud solution. Our machine learning analyzes hundreds of data points 24/7 to detect and prevent ad fraud in real time.

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