CJ Affiliate 5669264 invisibly claiming commission on organic traffic to AVG

Posted by on Jul 4, 2013 in Affiliate Fraud, Cookie-Stuffing, Wire Fraud

Co-authored with Ben Edelman On June 25, 2013 using a computer running Perion Incredibar adware, our crawler browses the AVG site.  Incredibar sees this traffic and invisibly invokes the CJ click link with publisher ID 5669264, which redirects back to AVG. Because the toolbar drops CJ cookies invisibly, there is nothing for us to show […]

CJ Affiliate 3744050 claiming commission on organic traffic to Vistaprint

Posted by on Jul 3, 2013 in Adware, Affiliate Fraud, Cookie-Stuffing, PPV, Wire Fraud

Co-authored with Ben Edelman On June 25, 2013 using a computer running Zango adware, our crawler browses the vistaprint.com site.  Zango sees this traffic and opens a window to searchquikly.com (packet trace).  Searchquikly 302 redirects to shoppingcollections.com which returns JavaScript that redirects to an encoded CJ click link (which maps to affiliate ID 3744050), then […]

CJ Affiliate 6365251 invisibly claiming commission on organic traffic to Symantec Norton

Posted by on Jul 2, 2013 in Adware, Affiliate Fraud, Cookie-Stuffing, Wire Fraud

For the remainder of this month I will be working with Ben Edelman to report a flurry of infractions involving rogue affiliates. On June 25, 2013 using a computer running Zango adware, our crawler browses the buy.norton.com site for Symantec Norton software.  Zango sees this traffic and opens a window to Doublemyspeedscam (packet trace).  A user […]

Affiliate Fraud Through Adult Advertising Networks

Posted by on Jul 1, 2013 in Affiliate Fraud, Cookie-Stuffing, Wire Fraud

* This post links to adult content * Spend a while browsing through pornsharia.com (Alexa Rank #1045) and you’re going to stumble across something other than free porn, adult ads and every kind of man or woman looking to “hook up” only a few miles away from you. This packet trace highlights a rogue affiliate in […]

Rogue Venturebeat.com Advertiser Plunders Affiliate Revenue

Venturebeat.com (Alexa Rank #2,957) has a number of options available to advertisers. They range from an $11 300×250 CPM model (that’s per thousand impressions on their site) all the way through to $1,500 per week for a 125×125 button: The weekly button is what is of interest to us today, for one of these advertisers is using […]

The Botnet Blues

Posted by on Jun 7, 2013 in Malware

If your botnet came to a grinding halt in the last couple of days, here’s why. Personally, I am delighted and proud to be associated with this work.

This little piggy went to the affiliate market

Posted by on May 14, 2013 in Affiliate Fraud, Cookie-Stuffing, Wire Fraud

Piggycoupons.com ranks in the top quarter million sites in the world and almost in the top 100k for the US (see Alexa). If you are an ordinary user looking for a coupon then you won’t notice anything out of the ordinary when browsing through this site. Piggycoupons is an affiliate that has an indirect relationship with a […]

On cutting out the middle man

I recently received a number of emails from readers asking me to provide more samples of abuse in Hostgator’s affiliate program. At the time I could not help but wonder to myself why the sudden interest, specifically from what seemed to be concerned Hostgator affiliates. Having discussed Hostgator a few times [1, 2, 3], we […]

Bargain Hunters, Cars.com & eBay

Posted by on Apr 16, 2013 in Bargain Hunters, Wire Fraud

Not familiar with the Bargain Hunter scam? Read up and then let’s get to it. 1. Scammer Sets the Trap This cars.com ad has a 2005 Ford F150 FX4 available for approximately $3,000 below book value. As it stands, this looks like a good deal, but not a smokin hot deal that would have me […]