Hackers Use Google Anti Fraud Regulations to Blackmail Site Owners

Google has been taking a lot of steps here and there to ensure that anyone that uses the internet using a service that Google is providing would be able to rest assured knowing that no matter what happens they would be safe from things like fraud and scam. However, recently a group of malicious actors have started using the anti fraud protection protocols that Google has put in place and manipulating them so that they can blackmail website owners with lost revenue.

The way this works is that the hackers would start sending bots to click on and visit the website that they have chosen. This traffic is obviously going to be detected as being "unhuman", and Google takes things like this very seriously indeed. If a website is flagged for having a lot of bot driven traffic then this will result in the triggering of Google’s anti fraud protocols which would lock down the AdSense account that is used to earn money through a website, restricting the revenue that would come from this account until the matter is sorted out which is something that can often be a bureaucratic nightmare.

As noted by Krebsonsecurity, the hackers then try to tell the site owner that this will happen and that the owner needs to pay a ransom of $5000 in bitcoin after which the bot traffic is going to stop coming in. This is quite a heinous method that these malicious actors are using, and it is most certainly indicative of the kind of mindset they have. It also shows that Google still needs to work on its anti fraud protocols so that innocent sites can’t be framed in this manner, and until the protocols are improve it is pretty much certain that situations like this are going to keep occurring and website owners and small publishers will continue to suffer loss of revenue.

Google AdSense users can read official support page for more details on what is sabotage and how to prevent it.

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