... web browser software for criminal financial gain.
This is achieved by infecting browsers with malicious code and forcing them to load certain webpages. For advertisers this is bad news, since they can end up paying for ads which are never actually seen by real people.
To examine the role of browsers in this process, FraudLogix examined a sample of 135 million individual online ad impressions over a seven-day period in July, and analysed the browsers to which the ads were served. The company also tracked the portion of those ads its technology deemed as delivered to “non-human” or “bot” traffic.
Unsurprisingly given their dominance of the market, the browsers in which the most fraudulent impressions were loaded were versions of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Google's Chrome.
Unsurprisingly, however, Microsoft and Google each questioned FraudLogix’s methodology, claiming that it isn’t possible to accurately measure fraud at the browser level.
A statement issued by Microsoft claims: “Bots and malware often forge user agent strings to produce “fake” traffic, which can’t be attributed to a particular browser.”
Google, likewise, wasn't taking these criticisms lying down. In a statement the Mountainview mammoth declared: “When malware infects someone’s device or web browser in general, the infected machine may act as a fraudulent bot impersonating any browser, even if it isn’t installed on the infected machine. As a result, we’ve found that measuring ad fraud per browser has not been a helpful way of understanding this issue.”
Read the original unabridged WSJ.com article.