PPC Zombies Ramp-up Click Fraud

Back in February, guest poster Mike O’Krongli predicted Google could suffer at the hands of click fraud zombies.

Picture thousands of PC’s infected with some malicious virus that does nothing but click on PPC ads. The ads these zombies are clicking are found on the virus’s authors site. For each 1000 clicks, the author receives $2.00 (2004-2005) at the lowest rate. If the virus’s author had 10,000 infected PC’s clicking on 1 ad every 5 minutes for 8 random hours a day, they would steal $3200.00 per day from AdWords customers. That rate of traffic would be undetectable to Google and make it almost impossible for the AdWord customer to charge back.

Well, Mike was right on the money, as reports surface on a new zombie network at work.

According to the data collected so far, the scam is exploiting a global network comprising more than 34,000 zombie computers (those infected by the bot).