Hey ninja’s, how’s the trading going? A new scam targeting the owners of websites serving banner ads through Google Adsense has reportedly been circulating the internet. This scam demands its victim to pay a ransom in bitcoin to avoid an attack which could lead to the suspension of the user's Adsense account.
News of the scam was reported on the 17th of February by KrebsOnSecurity (security news and investigation blog). The post explains that some site owners reported that the scam first began after they received a message threatening to flood the site with an enormous about of web traffic generated by bots with a 100% bounce ratio and thousands of IP’s in rotation.
Though this would temporarily increase the site's revenue Adsense traffic assessment algorithms with asses this much traffic as fraudulent and an ad serving limit will then be placed on the victim's account and all revenue will be refunded, temporarily suspending the account. The scammers threaten to repeat this process which would eventually lead to the account being banned unless the user transfers the sum of $5000 in Bitcoin.
Ironically the new scam came after Google announced its new policy on ads. The team handling Adsense stated that they have made improvements to their system to identify invalid traffic and stop showing ads before clicks happen. The new system will also limit ad serving in order to protect its users and advertisers.