Phony Ad Clicks at Record High

Click fraud rate climbs to 17.1% in fourth quarter of 2008
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2009 4:07 PM CST
Click fraud reached an all-time high in the fourth quarter, a report from Click Forensics said.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – Fraudulent attempts to deceive web advertisers into paying for phony clicks reached an all-time high in the last quarter of 2008, CNET reports. The rate of phony to genuine clicks climbed to 17.1% in the fourth quarter, increasing 1.1% from the third quarter and 0.5% from the fourth quarter of 2007.

Click fraud is increasingly perpetrated by botnets—groups of computers remotely controlled by hackers to commit cybercrime, according to Click Forensics, an internet advertising monitor. “Traffic from botnets was responsible for 31.4% of all click fraud traffic in the fourth quarter of 2008,” its report notes—from 27.6% in the third and from 22% in the last quarter of ’07.