Scammers Target Ad Industry's Initiative to Thwart Fraud

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology 

Late last year, DoubleVerify Inc., a company that offers software for advertisers and ad vendors to authenticate ad inventory, identified a scheme it says was designed to take advantage of the growing adoption of Ads.txt. DoubleVerify estimated the scam could have taken between $70 million and $80 million of advertisers' spending a year had it gone unchecked. First, the fraudsters scraped content from legitimate sites to create copies. Then they deployed "botnets" of consumer devices infected with malware to generate fake page views on the mock sites. Usually, this is where Ads.txt could go some way to preventing fraud: Buyers offered the resulting ad impressions could check the legitimate sites' Ads.txt files to see whether the impressions come from authorized vendors.

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