The Digital Crimes Unit at Microsoft disrupted a botnet that took over 2 million PCs around the world.
The botnet called ZeroAccess would inject viruses onto the computer and hijack the results when the user would visit a search engine. Instead of sending the user to the page requested, the botnet would insert hyperlinks that the user would click on instead.
These links would generate ad revenues from major online advertising networks in a practice called “click fraud.” These clicks on online ads generated over $2.7 Million each month for the operator of the botnet.
It was previously reported that one in seven clicks on ads displayed online was due to click fraud.
Source: Sean Gallagher, “Microsoft disrupts botnet that generated $2.7M per month for operators,” Ars Technica, December 6, 2013.