‘Pay Up, or We’ll Make Google Ban Your Ads’

Brian Krebs:

A new email-based extortion scheme apparently is making the rounds, targeting Web site owners serving banner ads through Google’s AdSense program. In this scam, the fraudsters demand bitcoin in exchange for a promise not to flood the publisher’s ads with so much bot and junk traffic that Google’s automated anti-fraud systems suspend the user’s AdSense account for suspicious traffic.

It’s almost like it’s a bad idea to rely on automated advertising from an ad platform that doesn’t care about you.

You have to admit, this is a clever attack. Companies need a Chief Asshole — someone whose job it is to lead a team that does nothing but think of ways to fuck with everything. That’s only tangential to what we think of as “security” — these crooks are using a system created by Google to defeat fraud to commit an entirely different type of crime.

Thursday, 20 February 2020