Botnets Drive Up Click Fraud Rate in Third Quarter 2009

Click Forensics has released its click fraud report for the third quarter of 2009. Botnet activity caused the rate to rise and accounted for more click fraud activity.

The click fraud rate rose to 14.1% in the third quarter, up from 12.7% in the second quarter, but down from 16% in the third quarter of 2008.

Botnets accounted for 42.6% of click fraud in Q3 2009, more than double the 27.5% rate in Q3 2008.

“The significant rise in botnet-generated click fraud lines up with recent findings of several well-known malware and online fraud tracking experts,” said Paul Pellman, CEO of Click Forensics. “Botnets perpetrating click fraud and other online schemes continue to grow in number and sophistication. Advertisers and ad providers need to be especially vigilant about such activity as we enter the competitive search marketing holiday season.”

Outside of North America, the countries producing the most click fraud were United Kingdom, Vietnam and Germany.

One of the most significant findings in the third quarter was the discovery of the “Bahama botnet,” which was redirecting traffic through 200,000 parked domains located in the Bahamas. Click Forensics detected a link between the Bahama botnet and the New York Times ad scareware incident.

Related reading