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Polygraph: ’Clickjacking’ Is Making A Comeback As A Click Fraud Technique

January 2023 by Polygraph

Polygraph, a cybersecurity company specializing in click fraud prevention, is advising advertisers to be aware of an "old school" click fraud technique which is making a comeback.

Clickjacking click fraud is a technical sleight of hand which tricks website visitors into clicking on adverts without their knowledge or consent. For example, a website may display a pop-up message claiming a virus is downloading, with a "Cancel" button enticing the visitor to cancel the download. In reality, no virus is downloading, and the cancel button is covered by an invisible advert, placed there by the website owner with the goal of hijacking visitors’ clicks.

According to Trey Vanes, Polygraph’s head of marketing, clickjacking is making a comeback as a click fraud technique.

"We monitor the activities of click fraud gangs," said Vanes. "Typically, they use bots to generate fake clicks on ads, but we’re seeing a resurgence in the use of clickjacking as a click fraud technique.

"Criminals use a little bit of programming code to place invisible adverts on their scam websites, and use psychological trickery to coerce visitors to unknowingly click on the ads."

Vanes says the reason for clickjacking’s resurgence is the lack of effort by some advertising networks to detect clickjacking click fraud.

"One of the major advertising networks isn’t checking ad clicks for clickjacking," said Vanes. "This is puzzling, since clickjacking is easy to detect, so there’s no clear reason why the advertising network is choosing to ignore it."

Vanes says it is important advertisers do not rely on their advertising networks to protect them from click fraud.

"We see a lot of bad behaviour by some of the advertising networks," said Vanes. "A large advertising network appears to be doing no click fraud detection at all, which means click fraud techniques like clickjacking, and even the most simplistic bots, are being given a pass.

"Polygraph helps you protect your ad campaigns from click fraud, including clickjacking, bots, and other forms of trickery. We tell you which scam websites are clicking on your ads, which of your ad keywords are being targeted, and provide details of every fake click so you can apply for click fraud refunds from your advertising network.

"Additionally, by using the data provided by Polygraph, you can block the scam websites from being able to click on your ads in the future, and adjust your ad keywords so they’re no longer being targeted by bots."

"Don’t let click fraud scammers and their enablers steal your advertising budget," added Vanes.

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