Oracle worked with the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) and Google, which housed some of the affected apps on its Android operating system and Play Store, to mitigate ad spend on Tapcore apps while it scrutinized the operation.
“This is becoming a nice trend where some of these more sophisticated tech companies are now able to identify and track major botnets,” said Mike Zaneis, TAG president and CEO. “It takes time though, and we’re developing this ability to make our members aware of the issue and protect the market while a botnet is being tracked.”
Previously, exposing ad fraud operations was like nailing smoke to a wall. But with better technology and more players in the ecosystem willing to collaborate on fraud prevention, companies like White Ops, Google and DoubleVerify – not to mention the FBI – have exposed a string of ad fraud schemes in recent months.
“People are good at tracking fraud but see different slices of the ecosystem,” Zaneis said.
Fichter said the combination of Moat and Dyn was critical for exposing the DrainerBot operation and for Oracle’s fraud prevention approach. Dyn focuses on infrastructure-level internet security threats while Moat addresses transparency and ad fraud.
“Having the threat research teams making discoveries like [DrainerBot] that use advertising is hugely useful,” he said. “And it works the other way as well. Computers and devices that are compromised and used for ad fraud could be used for something else tomorrow.”