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DoJ Indicts 7 People for Using Malware to Generate Millions in Fake Ad Revenue

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has charged 7 people for committing online fraud by making money from fake online advertisement revenue.

According to The Wall Street Journal (opens in new tab), the DoJ has charged six Estonian nationals and one Russian national for infecting millions of computer systems in more than 100 countries and making $14 million in fake ad revenue.

The cyber criminals had set up several companies that pretended to be online advertisement publishers. They installed malware on the PCs of unsuspecting users which allowed them to re-route the internet searches made on the systems to certain websites.

The DoJ said that the criminals got paid every time someone visited the websites or viewed an online add. The justice department said that six of the criminals had been arrested while the seventh was still absconding. Law enforcement officers have frozen their financial accounts and seized computer systems as evidence.

"The international cyber threat is perhaps the most significant challenge faced by law enforcement and national security agencies today, and this case is just perhaps the tip of the Internet iceberg," said Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Ravi Mandalia

Ravi Mandalla was ITProPortal's Sub Editor (and a contributing writer) for two years from 2011. Based in Ahmedabad, India, Ravi is now the owner and founder of Parity Media Pvt. Ltd., a news and media company, which specializes in online publishing, technology news and analysis, reviews, web site traffic growth, web site UI. Ravi lists his specialist subjects as: Enterprise, IT, Technology, Gadgets, Business, High Net Worth Individuals, Online Publishing, Advertising, Marketing, Social Media, News, Reviews, Audio, Video, and Multi-Media. He has also previously worked as Dy. Manager - IT Security at (n)Code Solutions.