Google vs. Clickjacking: Who Will Win the PPC Scam Battle?

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Sophie Monks

Senior Social Specialist

Batman defended Gotham, Rocky fought for his title and ordinary pint-drinking Shaun battled off a wave of the dead in London –we all have something we consider precious and must shield from danger.
Google’s current concerns centre on its ad systems and the hackers attacking them for fraudulent means through clickjacking schemes. But can the tech giant thwart these internet demons and prevent their masterplan from coming into full fruition? Probably… come on, it’s Google.
Here’s how Google is currently investing in defences and its engineering and operations teams are working to pre-empt future threats:

What Exactly is Clickjacking?

Clickjacking is a type of web attack which scams users into clicking on actions they wouldn’t otherwise. It essentially cloaks a site and changes its appearance so that a user doesn’t realise they are clicking on potentially harmful material.
For example, a video play button, menu dropdown option or social share selection may disguise an invisible ad that could lead practically anywhere on the net.




[New blog post] At Google we defend our ad systems from fraud, including Clickjacking


How is Google Fighting Clickjacking Attacks?

Google’s operations team identified clickjacking as a threat to its cost-per-click ads earlier this year when analysing the Display Network. It then got to work, protecting businesses and agencies who use its advertising services by terminating accounts that appeared to be using unethical clickjacking practices.
At the same time, Google’s engineering team built a filter to cipher out and exclude any invalid traffic across display ads. There was a huge clean out and now ongoing efforts offer a proactive approach to hunting out and tackling cons head on.
As Andres Ferrate, Chief Advocate or Ad Traffic Quality, stated on Google’s AdWords blog:
‘Our Clickjacking defenses operate at considerable scale, analyzing display ad placements across mobile and desktop platforms, evaluating a variety of characteristics. When our system detects a Clickjacking attempt, we zero-in on the traffic attributed to that placement, and remove it from upcoming payment reports to ensure that advertisers are not charged for those clicks.
‘This latest effort also is a great example of how our work against invalid traffic is at the intersection of technology, operations, and policy. Each piece plays a key role in keeping our ad systems clean and defended against ad fraud.
‘We’re proud of our work to protect our ad systems against emerging threats like Clickjacking, and we’ll continue to be vigilant as we fight the good fight against ad fraud.’

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Sophie Monks

Senior Social Specialist

Sophie has over 6 years of experience in the social media and content space, working in both in-house organisations and agencies. She has worked with exciting established brands in her time such as Campari, Aperol Spritz, Oppo Ice Cream and PayPal Australia. She enjoys the content creation process – from mapping out the shot and…

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