Are We Blindly Moving Forward?

In just the last few days reports of hacking and ad fraud appeared as footnotes in the trade media.

CMOs have much to be concerned about.

ITPRO announced that a YAHOO malvertising attack left 900 million users at risk of ransomware.  Yes, that was 900 MILLION.  On the same day, Trustwave Holdings discovered hackers who were using RTB platforms to spread a Trojan virus through programmatic ads that do not need to be clicked on to activate the virus.  In other words, simply visiting a site can infect a computer.

As most programmatic platforms do not have robust technology to distinguish between hackers and advertisers, Trustwave believes it is fairly easy to pose as a legitimate business and buy up infectious ads.

It is no wonder that the Association of National Advertisers and the International Advertising Association are raising the specter of transparency concerns.  As a result, they are commissioning studies and surveys in an attempt to stem the flow of fraud across all media disciplines.

ComScore recently tracked NHT (Non-Human Traffic) across a number of campaigns and recognized that 14% of the campaigns generated 5-20% of NHT, accounting for 45% of the total NHT impressions. Another company at the forefront of fraud analysis is Forensiq, "relentlessly fighting online ad fraud".

I would venture that most CMOs have no standards in place with sellers, technology platforms feeding programmatic and traditional trades, their agencies and data providers.
Recently, a Jeep SUV was hacked through its entertainment system and controlled from a remote (10 mile) distance and forced to drive off the road.  Chrysler and Harmon are now facing class-action suits.  Could Yahoo face similar negligence suits for failing to protect its users from the malvertising hack?  

It’s getting ugly and it’s just the beginning.

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