Online advertising spending in the U.S. is on the rise. In the first quarter of 2011 alone, companies that sold online advertising reportedly surpassed $7 billion in revenue.1 Unfortunately, social engineering scams on Facebook also continue to thrive.2 How are the two related? Unsolicited Facebook spam in the form of status updates is actively infiltrating the social networking giant and aimed at tricking users into visiting websites ridden with survey scams and pop-up advertising, as is the case in the following analysis of a real-world example. This trend will continue to degrade the credibility of the online advertising industry and could possibly taint the images of the brands that these spam campaigns are targeting.
Online advertising has become a central part of our digital lives. Advertising publishers and platforms supply billions of ads every day. Ensuring that ads served are contextually accurate and brand safe for the target audience is critical to a safe and secure internet.
What happens when you offer up money to anyone who can drive traffic to your website? Hackers, scammers, spammers and fraudsters come to your aid. That’s the case with online movie site zml.com, which offers 30% of each sale and 5% of rebills paid via anonymous means to anyone who refers paying customers to the site.
zvelo is researching a widespread and dangerous ring of fraudulent “OEM Software” distribution sites. These sites offer popular software from Microsoft, Adobe, and many other vendors at a greatly reduced price. Not only do they not deliver installable software, they collect sensitive information from individuals, including credit card numbers.