Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge The Department of Justice has unsealed indictments against eight people who allegedly ran the infamous online advertising scams 3ve and Methbot. The defendants, who are primarily from Russia, are accused of collecting more than $36 million from companies who thought they were paying to place ads on websites.…


Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The Department of Justice has unsealed indictments against eight people who allegedly ran the infamous online advertising scams 3ve and Methbot. The defendants, who are primarily from Russia, are accused of collecting more than $36 million from companies who thought they were paying to place ads on websites. But the ads were never seen by a human being — instead, the defendants allegedly used a server farm and a botnet to simulate billions of visits to real pages.

A press release states that three of the alleged scammers — Sergey Ovsyannikov and Yevgeniy Timchenko, who were from Kazakhstan, and Aleksandr Zhukov, who was Russian — were arrested over the past month. The other five — Boris Timokhin, Mikhail Andreev, Denis Avdeev, Dmitry Novikov, and Aleksandr Isaev — are still at large.

revealed Methbot’s existence in late 2016.

At that point, White Ops estimated that Methbot’s operators collected between $3 and $5 million per day from advertisers. White Ops said the scheme was “bringing whole new levels of innovation to ad fraud,” operating at an unprecedentedly large scale that spooked advertisers. Some analysts questioned those numbers, and based on today’s indictment, the total cost doesn’t seem as high as the original estimates suggested. But it was still a large, complex, and surprisingly long-running operation.

Loading comments…

Source Link

Categories: World

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

  Subscribe  
Notify of