CJ Affiliate 5740999 claiming commission on organic traffic to Tirerack

Co-authored with Ben Edelman

On a computer running Zango adware, our crawler browses the tirerack.com site.  Zango sees this traffic and opens a window to Trackmyads (packet trace).  Trackmyads returns tricky JavaScript that redirects to Offershack which redirects to the CJ click link with publisher ID 5740999, then on to Tirerack.  As shown in the screenshot, the user ends up with two Tirerack window — the underlying window where the user had begun, and a second window opened by Zango adware.

tirerack

If a user subsequently makes a purchase from either window (or otherwise within Tirerack’s __-day return-days period), then CJ and Tirerack records will credit affiliate 5740999 with purportedly causing that purchase.  But in fact the user was already at the Tirerack site before the Zango adware and this affiliate 5740999 intervened.  They did nothing to cause or encourage the user’s purchase, and in fact they affirmatively interfered with the purchase by interrupting the user with a popup.  Any payments to this affiliate are entirely wasted.

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