• Abhinav Bangia

Ad Fraud is an Intentional Compromised State of Advertising Technology

If you have been in the ad tech industry, you would often hear people say "Fraudsters are always a step ahead in the industry". Can we conclude if the fraudster in the industry is some of the ad-tech vendors itself?


Consider solving the case below by following the conversation.


Case : Three people form the advertising industry. The advertisers always tell the truth. The ad-tech vendor never tell the truth. The fraud detection vendor alternatively tells truth and lie. The world's renowned explorer questioned all of them. The advertiser, ad-tech vendor and the fraud detection vendor. Let the 3 people be Jack, John and James not in the same order.


Explorer : Jack, which section of industry do you belong to?


Jack : I'm an Advertiser.


Explorer : John, to which section do you belong to?


John : I'm an Ad-Tech Vendor.


Explorer : Was Jack telling the truth?


John : Yes.


Explorer : James, to which section do you belong to?


James : I'm an Advertiser


Explorer : To which section does Jack belong to?


James : Jack is a Fraud Detection Vendor.


Now that you have heard the conversation above, can you tell which person is the Ad-Tech vendor?

A) Jack

B) John

c) James


Once you arrive to the answer, you would be able to get a bitter insight of the advertising industry today.


Below find an interesting structure of Ad-Tech ecosystem, understand the bridging layers here that lead to fraud.

1. A layer of semi owned dummy mobile apps are needed to steal data inventory from real publishers, fraudulent publishers and ad networks. This allows the ad tech company to mix traffic, shadow the original traffic sources not allowing transparency across supply chain.


2. A layer of semi owned dummy mobile apps are needed to simulate human behavior through bots after reverse engineering fraud suites which are build internally or externally.


We at AdIQ, are building an encrypted inventory matching technology which would help us expose this layer of dummy apps with legal addresses that ad tech vendors use in the industry to gain inventory and game the system now and then.


We are also studying what personality traits make up these cyber criminals in the market and how they been in the industry for over the decade.


"What is clear is that we need to cut through the chaos and focus what is best for our advertisers, not anything else."

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