DOJ unseals charges in alleged massive online ad fraud


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“As alleged in court filings, the defendants in this case used sophisticated computer programming and infrastructure around the world to exploit the digital advertising industry through fraud,” U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard Donoghue said in a statement. “This case sends a powerful message that this Office, together with our law enforcement partners, will use all our available resources to target and dismantle these costly schemes and bring their perpetrators to justice, wherever they are.”

The indictment claims that five of the defendants ran what they claimed was an ad network and committed the fraud with the assistance of another defendant in the case.

The allegedly fake ad network rented more than 1,900 computer servers and used them to create ads on fake websites, giving the appearance that humans were viewing ads on those spoofed domains and causing businesses to pay more than $7 million for the commercials.

In another scheme, three of the defendants allegedly began another fake advertising network that utilized a botnet to reach more than 1.7 million infected computers, download fake domains and then run ads on the spoofed webpages.


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