Ben Edelman: "The Darker Side of Online Advertising"


Wednesday, December 3, 2008, 12:00pm to 1:30pm


Maxwell Dworkin 119

CRCS Privacy and Security Lunch Seminar

Date: Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Time: 12:00pm-1:30 pm
Place: Maxwell Dworkin 119

Speaker: Ben Edelman

Title: The Darker Side of Online Advertising

Abstract: The best online ads are well-targeted, unobtrusive, and even useful. But ads can also go far astray. For example, various scammers claim payment for purportedly delivering ads, when in fact the ads were invisible, duplicative, or never shown at all. For advertisers, this fraud wastes limited budgets. For publishers and networks, fraud destabilizes platforms and reduces the earnings of legitimate participants. I’ll show a variety of the examples I’ve uncovered in several years of hands-on testing. Then we’ll think through the implications of these attacks, including suitable defenses through manual auditing, automated detection, and economic incentives.