In yet another major industry move to fight against digital advertising fraud, Google has purchased the London based company, Spider.io. Spider specialized in ad fraud detection technology. Google has confirmed that they will be immediately including the Spider.io fraud detection technologies in both the video and display ads that they are displaying. This service will be in addition to the existing fraud detection services they provide.
According to Spider.io, they prevent fraud that comes from networks of hijacked PCs. Specifically they work against the following two different types of fraud:
- Fraud which occurs when an attacker is running a fully automated browser on hijacked devices, without the owner of that device even knowing. The browsers visit websites that contain ads of the attacker’s, and simulate user activity. This activity includes mouse movement and ad clicks.
- The second is a more complex type, and involves the hijacking of browser sessions on user’s devices. The hijacked session will redirect users to sites that the hijacker chooses. They can also display pop-up ads or even hidden or pop-under ads to help increase the number of views and clicks they are getting.
The technology provided by Spider.io helps to prevent the hijacked devices from defrauding advertisers. It identifies any type of automated agent on the device, or specific to that session, and flags the traffic as fraudulent. This technology works in real-time, allowing Google to now provide an improved protection that will also give advertisers more information as it comes in.
How much Google paid for the company has not been relased, nor has any information about whether or not the employees of Spider.io will be joining the Google team as a result of the acquisition.