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Inside A Botnet: Athena and Ad Fraud

12/18/2014 07:28 am

To share with you some additional insight as to how botnets are used to create invalid traffic and ad impressions, let’s take a deeper look at the Athena botnet. Like other botnet codebases, Athena software was developed to control and manage a collection of hacked machines. The widely used Athena codebase was leaked in September 2013. Security vendors quickly detailed the botnet's inner workings (e.g., see here and here). However, because none of the write-ups discussed the impression fraud modules that were included in the codebase, I wanted to take the opportunity to fill that knowledge gap. Beyond its availability, Athena was selected as a good example of an impression fraud threat that can easily evade methods such as viewability checks and IP blacklists.

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Domain Laundering Emerges as Significant Threat in Digital Ad Ecosystem

12/16/2014 12:34 pm

Identifying domain laundering is a challenge for several reasons. First, security policies of modern browsers often restrict the information accessible to tag-based Javascript, which is commonly used to provide telemetry. Similarly, crawling-based methods may miss specific instances of domain laundering and offer no direct information about the volume of traffic drawn to a site. Next, not all domain obfuscation counts as laundering. A publisher’s domain might be obscured during the course of serving an ad for legitimate reasons such as an ad network using third parties for inventory. Finally, detection typically requires tracing a series of HTTP redirects, which may contain obfuscation or even deception. A holistic view is required to reconstruct the full trace of an ad call.

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GroupM, IPG, Omnicom Group and Publicis Groupe Drive Momentum for vCE in DoubleClick

12/09/2014 08:47 am

The discussions were centered on the need for comparability between platforms and reducing complexity in the ad buying process. comScore has been committed to simplifying the buying and selling of digital advertising, while enhancing the quality of impressions that are bought and sold. Working with our partners, such as Google, to bring comScore metrics into the platforms our clients are using every day is vital to achieving this goal.

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How Mobile is Transforming Holiday Shopping

12/08/2014 12:53 pm

The accuracy of the NRF survey notwithstanding, it is worth getting some additional perspective about what’s happening this year and why mobile shopping and buying is the key to understanding it all.

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Viewability and In-Target: Key Learnings for Media Buyers and Sellers

12/04/2014 06:50 am

To help the industry navigate the recent changes, comScore created Best Practices Kits on succeeding in a world of viewable impression measurement and audience guarantees. As a next step, we’re sharing key learnings from validated Campaign Essentials™ (vCE®) and validated Media Essentials™ (vME™) clients who have incorporated audience and viewability measurement from into their business practices.

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