Domain masking could still be an issue, but Zaneis believes that publishers quickly morphing domains will be easier to suss out. “The more you force them to change inventory, the easier it is to find,” he said.
Besides the Fraud Threat List, TAG is working toward a solution to help publishers source traffic, to ensure that fraud doesn’t slip in that way. Paid traffic, often bought at the end of the month to meet page-view requirements, is a common way that fraud slips into higher caliber sites.
TAG also plans to create real-time alerts so partners know if malware infects a campaign. “Malware especially can affect hundreds of thousands of computers in hours,” Zaneis said.
After finding malware, TAG will pass on information to law enforcement via partnerships with the FBI and Secret Service. They can arrest and prosecute purveyors of malware.
But fraud will take approximately $6.3 billion ad dollars in 2015 (according to an ANA/WhiteOps study last year), enough to buy every Super Bowl ad for the next 17 years and more than the combined profits of the ten global advertising agencies.
With bad actors armed with a deep pool of money, cleaning up needs to be a group effort and a priority for publishers, tech companies and agencies. By creating opportunities for everyone in the industry to work together on this issue, TAG hopes to make meaningful process on this issue.
“It’s about having a unified industry solution,” Zaneis said. “We will be stronger if we stand together and take the fight to every step along the chain.”