There are those who use their knowledge for good, and those who use it for evil. Just this past Tuesday there were eight people identified as using their knowledge for evil, for the purpose of filling their pockets with the ever-sought green bills. Their game involved using fraudulent online advertising in a scheme that would put others at financial risk.
The U.S. Justice Department has identified and charged eight people involved with this online scheme and have been connected with the take down of two international cybercriminal rings that have costed advertisers tens of millions of dollars.
The eight persons charged with connection to these cybercriminal rings were thought to be using sophisticated computer programming and infrastructure around the world so that they may exploit the advertising giants through fraud. On a lighter note, prosecutors have said that human internet users never viewed the ads, thus meaning the scheme was barely active yet, and a mess of a headache has been adverted.
Their methods for going about the scheme had been an odd one, as the defendants faked both the users and webpages. The programmed computers in this scheme were controlled to load advertisements on fabricated websites through an automated system, which would then give access to fraudulently obtained digital advertising revenue.
Unfortunately, it was realized that one of the schemes involved something known as a “botnet”, a network of malware-infected computers, which allowed access to over 1.7 million computers that belonged to the average individual along with businesses in the U.S. Most of the defendants are from Eastern Europe, three being from overseas, two from Russia, and another from Kazakhstan, while the remaining are still at large. The charges also include wire fraud, computer intrusions, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering. In an attempt to help gather the remaining pieces of this unfortunate puzzle, prosecutors have stated that seizure warrants that were granted authorized the FBI to take over 31 internet domains and information from 89 computer servers. Google and Microsoft had helped in the process of unraveling the online scheme.
It is a shame we cannot all play nice, but it is great to know we have some defenses in place for that very reason.
Do you have defenses to online malicious software and third-parties? If you are unsure, give us a call today at Re2 Tech! We make I.T. easy, the way it should be!
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