If you’re working as a security researcher, you must have heard about how cybercriminals use advertising networks to make billions of dollars per year. Or that using these same ad networks has become a popular way to deliver malicious payloads at massive scale for criminals, and a method of mass-surveillance for the authorities.
In a few years from now, with a 20% ad fraud exposure rate across the industry, cyber criminals will make $100 billion per year. That is the basis on which botlab.io was founded 6 months ago by myself and Amit Phansalkar, together with a group of security researchers that shared our concern. At $100 billion per year, ad fraud no longer is an advertising industry problem, but the second largest form of crime after drug trade and a threat to civil society. Since launching as part of I-COM 2015 in San Sebastian, our achievements include:
- nearly 200 members joined
- recruited over 20 volunteers
- created an ad fraud survey with WFA for their members
- was featured in Financial Times
- launched botlab.io website and blog
- gave talks in major advertising industry events
- raised enough donations from founders to operate
- created SEER anti-fraud forensics environment for logfile analysis
- collected and reviewed over 30 ad fraud research papers
- developed ad fraud researcher training workshop
- curated the largest hosting IP blacklist on the net
To get access to all of our ad fraud resources, you can join botlab.io for free on the website.
Ad Fraud Research
Or you can follow botlab.io on Twitter:
We are currently investigating how to introduce bounty programs widely in the advertising technology industry. With this, we are hoping that it will help make ad fraud, the largest form of cybercrime, more interesting for leading security researchers.