It’s a big win for online advertisers who rely on algorithms and safe networks to place their digital banners.
The FBI, in coordination with tech giants like Google, have shuttered a fake ad ring responsible for millions of dollars’ worth of false impressions. The crew, known as 3ve, used botnets, hijacked data centers and created their own websites to defraud advertisers.
Of the eight named conspirators, three are already under arrest and await extradition to the United States.
The news is part and parcel of the internet’s wider struggle to highlight authenticity and honesty—and remove manipulative, “fake” parties.
According to the DOJ, the activity, which involved more than 5,000 fake domains and 1,900 computers, occurred between September 2014 and December 2016. The defendants allegedly also leased more than 650,000 IP addresses, resulting in more than $7 million in revenue from fake advertising.