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PARETO: The most sophisticated CTV botnet ever found...and disrupted.

Rather than just fight for our clients, we brought in reinforcements to fight for everyone

The HUMAN Story Behind PARETO

PARETO created a nearly one million bot army through Android apps and directed the bots to target the CTV advertising ecosystem. HUMAN's MediaGuard was able to detect and protect our customers, but we wanted to take it one step further. In order to fully disrupt the operation we brought in our friends at The HUMAN Collective, as well as Google and Roku, to interrupt PARETO's activities. 

That is the power of collective protection.

PARETO by the numbers:


The PARETO botnet was nearly 1 million Android phones strong. Those phones faked millions of people watching CTVs.


On average, PARETO accounted for 650 million bid requests every day (as observed by HUMAN’s MediaGuard solution)


This is the result of 29 Android apps spoofing more than 6,000 CTV apps.


Specifically, we found 36 apps on Roku’s Channel Store connected to this investigation.

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"We appreciate the work of the research community, and value our collaboration with HUMAN. Responsible disclosure and collaboration benefits the entire ecosystem, and we look forward to working with them on additional research in the future."


"Roku is committed to fighting ad fraud in every form and to the development of leading practices for staying ahead of fraud globally. We were pleased to support HUMAN’s efforts to disrupt the PARETO operation. While this scheme impacted less than 0.1% of Roku devices, our approach to creating a premium curated advertising marketplace ensured that not a single Roku advertiser was ever at risk of being impacted.


The PARETO case presents yet another reminder of the importance of taking fraud seriously, working with the best fraud detection partners and ensuring both the supply and demand side of the advertising ecosystem works only with trusted verified partners.”

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Think you may have been impacted by PARETO?

If you believe your organization may have been impacted by the PARETO operation, fill out the form and we'll be in touch.

If you're already a HUMAN client, reach out to your Client Success Organization representative for more detailed information, or email