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Microsoft Sues RedOrbit in Charges of Click Laundering

Microsoft has recently filed two legal grievances in Seattle's US District Court against those behind the so-called "click laundering". The defendants include Eric Ralls, President, RedOrbit Inc., and many other anonymous persons who are hoped to be identified as the legal proceeding goes underway.

Security experts noted that click laundering is a term that refers to making fake clicks on third-party websites appear legitimate on the website of a publisher, thus increasing revenues from ads. This normally occurs when a computer application or a person imitates an authentic web surfer, thereby clicking on an ad with the aim of generating a bogus charge-per-click, having no interest on the ad link's target.

A senior attorney in Digital Crimes Unit of Microsoft, Richard D. Boscovich, stated that the clicks were completely fake, as per the news published by The Wall Street Journal on May 19, 2010. He claimed that RedOrbit managed fraudulent clicks on ads through a botnet that comprised home and work computers which were compromised with malware.

Microsoft said that it also observed fraudulent clicks maliciously compromising computers that took over Web browsers. So, when the users of the infected PCs entered a search query, they would be directed to a domain flooded with ads related to the search term along with some invisible ads. According to Boscovich, RedOrbit earned with every single click performed by the user, almost anywhere.

Microsoft investigators discovered this malicious activity when they were tracking the drastic and asymmetric increase in click traffic on the two websites within the adCenter network of Microsoft. Had this fake scheme gone unidentified, the advertisers could have been defrauded of heavy sum of money by the perpetrators, said the investigators.

Brad Smith, senior vice-president and general counsel for Microsoft, said that the Internet ad fraud is continuously growing in sophistication and it requires awareness and dedication to a secure and reliable online marketplace to combat this threat, reported PR Newswire on May 19, 2010.

Related article: Microsoft Patches Live OneCare to Tackle Quarantined E-Mails

» SPAMfighter News - 5/31/2010

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