The White Ops team packed our bags last month and headed off to London, where we gathered some of the city’s foremost cybersecurity specialists for a panel on large-scale ad fraud operations. Hosted at Albert House, our panel focused specifically on Methbot, the unprecedented, highly sophisticated ad fraud ring that White Ops uncovered and helped to dismantle in 2015.
Speakers Michael Tiffany (President), Tamer Hassan (CTO), and Sarah Walker (VP of Engineering) all fielded questions from moderator Sandeep Swadia (CEO) and the audience on the rise of Methbot, how it evaded detection, and how it was eventually brought down. Over the course of the discussion, our audience learned that:
- At its height, Methbot’s operators were pocketing $3-5 million in revenue per day.
- Methbot generated an average of 200-400 million impressions a day for its fabricated video inventory.
- The operation faked clicks, mouse movements, and social network login status to look like real, engaged human users and avoid detection
- Methbot’s operators were able to manipulate geolocation data so that their fake clicks appeared to come from more desired, “premium” regions, therefore increasing the value of their fraudulent inventory.
And our trip to London didn’t end at Albert House! We also unveiled a mural at the Thoroughfare, depicting the ongoing struggle between man and machine — or rather, human and bot.
Why all this activity in London all of a sudden? Alright, we admit it: it’s more than just a traveler’s itch that inspired us to travel to the Big Smoke. We’re proud to announce the official opening of our London office! Established in Shoreditch, the heart of the city’s burgeoning tech innovation sector, the primary focus of White Ops London will be increasing both display and social ad fraud detection capabilities through the use of data science and machine learning.
We couldn’t be more excited to open new doors to all the amazing talent that exists across the Atlantic and start putting new minds to the task of stopping bot-driven cybercrime. Thanks again to everyone who came out to take part in our panel discussion, and we hope to see you around very soon!