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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.
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.
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...
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.