A "doppelganger" of Friends actor David Schwimmer has denied a string of fraud and theft offences. Abdulah Husseini, 36, of Spencer Road, Slough, west London, appeared at Preston Crown Court via video link on Friday. He giggled and put his hand over his mouth when Judge Beverley Lunt asked: "Is this the Ross from Friends case?" Joe Allman, prosecuting, replied: "It is the one with the doppelganger, your honour." Mr Husseini, from Tehran, pleaded not guilty to the theft of a wallet in Blackpool on 20 September last year. He also denied five fraud offences by allegedly using or attempting to use a stolen Halifax bank card on 17 occasions in shops between 20 September and 5 November last year.
Victims of online fraud shouldn't be refunded by banks if they fail to protect themselves, according to Britain's most senior police officer. Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said that the public were being rewarded for bad behaviour, and needed incentives to update anti-virus software and ensure passwords were safe.
Security firm White Ops says it has discovered an ad fraud scheme raking in up to $3 million per day, making it the largest such operation ever. Called Methbot, because of drug references in the code, it tricks ad networks into playing videos on fake websites, which are in turn "watched" by bots that simulate real users. The networks then pay the scammers, reportedly located in Russia, effectively flushing advertisers' and publishers' money down the toilet. The operation is unprecedented in its complexity, the security firm says, and may have cost the hackers as much as several hundred thousand dollars per day. To start with, the scammers registered over 6,000 fake domains that spoofed legitimate sites like ESPN and Fox News, then generated over a quarter million fake URLs that could only do one thing: host video ads.
Last week I mentioned I would be working through the new IEEE-CIS Fraud Detection Kaggle Competition as a mechanism for exploring some Data Science concepts. The first video walked you through setting up a Python environment and using version control for an ML project. This week, I have a new video that dives into the data and builds the first model using the Gradient Boosting library, Catboost.
Security experts have uncovered what appears to be the biggest and most profitable advertising fraud scheme known to date. In a report released Tuesday, cybersecurity firm White Ops mapped out a massive operation through which Russian cybercriminals are stealing millions of dollars from publishers and advertisers in the form of fake video views. Nicknamed "Methbot" for the frequent references to the drug in its code, the ongoing scheme involves an army of bots whose sole purpose is to watch as many as 300 million video ads per day, thus tricking brand advertisers into paying millions of dollars for fake views. The company believes it to be the work of a ring of Russian hackers, who researchers say have netted upwards of $180 million in profits since launching the operation in September. While employing automated users to scam ads is nothing new -- it's the foundation of the multibillion-dollar ad fraud industry -- the company says the staggering scale and technical intricacy at play here are unprecedented.