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This 31 message thread spans 2 pages: 31 ( [1] 2 > >     
Feds Arrest Alleged Google Extortionist (Google Clique)
Scary developments ... fraud that might kill AdSense
gorfmeister

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 9:26 pm on Mar 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

See article "Feds Arrest Alleged Google Extortionist" at [internetnews.com...]

... makes you wonder if Google is strong and smart enough to fight off such fraud attacks.

 

Chicken Juggler



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 9:47 pm on Mar 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

You know when you here stuff like that it is just the tip of the iceberg. Fraud and all kinds of crime go on all the time. You only hear about the stupid criminals. There is probably a ring of criminals out there doing this all over the place.

I stoped that feature on my adwords account a while back and have never regretted it. Of course as an adsense publisher I am glad most people don't even know about that they could turn it off or if they do they don't don't know how stupid it is to keep it on.

by the way what does the [sic] mean in that article. it is all over the place.

bakedjake

WebmasterWorld Administrator bakedjake us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 9:55 pm on Mar 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

He wasn't arrested for AdSense fraud!

He was arrested for extortion.

2oddSox

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 9:56 pm on Mar 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

[sic] is there to point out the spelling mistakes in the quotation to indicate they were by the original author, not the writer of the article.

And if the program the guy wrote was so good, why didn't he just keep using it himself instead of going for the paltry amount of 100k? I think the fact that G didn't send the big wigs to the meeting speaks volumes about the sort of guy they were dealing with.

TheDave

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 9:56 pm on Mar 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

[sic] means the spelling has been left incorrect on purpose

edit - I probably should've posted that before I started reading the article ;)

bakedjake

WebmasterWorld Administrator bakedjake us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 10:07 pm on Mar 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Once someone gets mad enough, and just opensources a (good) clickfraud app, the whole PPC industry goes into a tailspin.

I bet it'll happen at some point.

willybfriendly

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 10:26 pm on Mar 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

This guy was trying to peddle his wares in the alt newsgroups a couple of weeks ago. Be interesting to see if anyoone bought, and if so, how far into this thing they get pulled.

WBF

blaze

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 10:45 pm on Mar 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

No big deal. People will just use the conversion code detection more.

Broadway

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 1:42 am on Mar 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

The article talked about one program to create fradulent clicks (from a number of different IP's so Google couldn't detect the fraud). It also talked about a different program called "reaper" which would generate fraudulent clicks on your competetor's site so go get them booted out of AdSense.

This person knows a lot about AdSense. Maybe it's easy to know these problem areas with AdSense but I wonder how much if any of his knowledge comes from reading these same pages on WebMaster World that we all do.

The bad guys are lurking...

willybfriendly

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 1:57 am on Mar 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

If this guy knew as much as he claimed, he got it from more than frequenting these boards. Do some searching on Google Groups and you will find him talking quite freely about what he was up to.

WBF

irock

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 3:36 am on Mar 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

willybfriendly,

Could you pls link me to google groups? I couldn't find my way there. thanks!

oilman

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 3:42 am on Mar 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>This person knows a lot about AdSense

I beg to differ - if he really knew anything about AdSense he wouldn't have asked for a measly 100K - that's pocket change.

pmac

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 3:51 am on Mar 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

> link me to google groups?

Go to Google. Click on groups. :)

vredungmand

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 7:09 am on Mar 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

IMHO he was bluffing.

He might have gotten something that worked on a small scale (was demoable) but if he rolled it out in the scale he was threatening to do, there would be no trouble detecting it.

Search google groups after: Adsense Autoclick. He called himself CountScubula.

bird

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 2:31 pm on Mar 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

IMHO he was bluffing.

I wouldn't count on that.

Most e-mail spam nowadays is proxied through computers that have been compromised by some virus/troian/worm. The virus writers sell and rent access to those machines to spammers for quite some money, and the authorities are just starting to catch up on them (some core figures will eventually face many years in jail). It's trivial to forward HTTP requests through the same boxes in place of the e-mail. And if you're careful about the format and timing of the requests you send, then it will be extremely hard to detect such an "attack".

Now the question is of course whether our candidate really had access to a large enough network of compromised computers to make it worthwile. If he had a small network that was only good enough for giving a demo, then that *might* have been the reason he tried to go the extortion route instead. Obviously that was his most stupid move. If you're about to commit a crime anyway, it's smarter not to introduce yourself to the victim in person...

Silver Surfer

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 4:45 pm on Mar 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Obviously that was his most stupid move

His most stupid move was spending his time developing this script.

I find it amazing how someone with his apparent intelligence would spend his time working on an illegal script which could potentially land his a** in jail. Anyone with the ability to develop something like this should be able to earn a legitimate living.

wonderboy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 4:53 pm on Mar 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

$100,000.

Why bother trying to hold Google to ransom? Isn't it quite clear they are just going to get him arrested. Quite a stupid thing to do really, if he wanted 100,000 so much, why not use his amazing app. Must not have been all that IMO.

W.

willybfriendly

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 5:11 pm on Mar 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Quite a stupid thing to do really, if he wanted 100,000 so much, why not use his amazing app

Crooks seldom see the big picture, nor do they tend to think in the longer term.

Like the "reformed" shoplifter that applies for a store security position, it is within reason to conclude that he had convinced himself that he was truly offering Google a valuable service.

WBF

cminblues

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 11:42 pm on Mar 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

> Once someone gets mad enough, and just opensources
> a(good) clickfraud app, the whole PPC industry goes
> into a tailspin.

True.
PPC industry rely on 80 port.
Free proxies too.
Hehee.

JVB_Mktg

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 3:09 pm on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

News article @ [mercurynews.com...]

Did he expect to get away with it?

irock

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 4:08 pm on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yes, I read it on CNET. What he's doing is quite stupid...

Eric_Jarvis

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 4:09 pm on Mar 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

yes, almost certainly...prior to his arrest he was posting to Usenet trying to find buyers and moaning about Google taking him seriously enough...obviously a talented programmer, but extremely dumb in many other ways

ChrisKud5

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 5:53 am on Mar 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I wonder if you can buy a pet clickbot.

it seems like it would be a cuddly pet to have crawling around your feet. Until it gets you arrested.

ChrisKud5

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 5:57 am on Mar 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Unless advertisers were greatly effected, which with googles pool of thousands of advertisers is not very likley, unless hundreds of thousands of dollars were generated using false clicks, wouldnt google benefit from this activity?

They get a good portion of each click, and thousands of dollars in clicks means thousands of dollars for google. Spread over many many thousands of advertisers, the realized loss for each advertiser might just equate to "a bad day with little conversions off of adwords".

I am BY NO MEANS saying screwing with the man (Google) is a good idea.

tombola

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 8:28 am on Mar 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

[webmasterworld.com...]

aceroil

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 4:18 pm on Mar 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Anyone can make software like that. It is very simple.

Blue_Fin

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 8:31 pm on Mar 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Unless advertisers were greatly effected, which with googles pool of thousands of advertisers is not very likley, unless hundreds of thousands of dollars were generated using false clicks, wouldnt google benefit from this activity?

Are you suggesting that Google should condone this behavior knowing that they and the spammer are stealing money from their advertisers? Come on now...

As to their advertisers being greatly effected, how would you feel if you were a small business and Google was allowing your money to be stolen?

What do you think would be the long time viability of PPC if this behavior wasn't stopped immediately?

What I'd like to know is if Google refunded all of the advertisers who were impacted by this since Google knew full well what was going on. I suspect they allowed it to continue as long as they did to provide adequate info. to the authorities to arrest this guy.

digitalv

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 10:03 pm on Mar 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

If he was smart he would have just signed up for AdSense and written the program to click the ads ... could have EARNED the money without ever telling them :P

heh

jomaxx

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jomaxx us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 11:11 pm on Mar 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

From the Miami Herald article:
court papers allege that Bradley already used his software in an attempt to illegally divert thousands of dollars to his own accounts

ChrisKud5

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2047 posted 8:08 am on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Blue_Fin- My last line i stated i said i do not approve of screwing with the man (google) Finish reading a post before responding. Be a listener, do not always be speaking or preparing yourself to speak.

If someone is making false clicks on ads at a "reasonable" rate, the chance of advertisers noticing isn't to impossible. The overall effect on the thousands of adwords advertisers would be very low. Think about it on the macro level of the entire google ad network. Google gets paid for the clicks, they make money.

I said nothing about endorsing this activity, it is the simple fact of the matter. A small level of clicks will not appear as anything for large advertisers, or for all advertisers in adwords.

This 31 message thread spans 2 pages: 31 ( [1] 2 > >
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