New ad-fraud botnet targets major corporations, universities

A new botnet is specifically targeting large corporations, taking over user machines to generate high-value ad fraud, according to a new report from Pixalate.

The Xindi botnet first appeared last fall, but has really taken off since August. It has already infiltrated around 8 million machines at more than 6,000 enterprises, said Amin Bandeali, CTO at Pixalate.

“We noticed an uptick of behavior from these enterprises on a high scale,” he said.

Pixalate monitors advertising networks for fraud, and detected the botnet by tracking connections to “ghost websites” that only non-humans visit, set up to exploit a vulnerability in the way advertising networks work.

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