Validating Our Findings In Ad Fraud

Last week, Craig Silverman wrote a great article based on work we’ve been doing related to the Kochava Fraud Monitoring and Abatement Solutions. His BuzzFeed article was published earlier last week. After a series of public counter-claims from the companies he reported on, Craig published another article last night in which he reports that Google has banned some of the identified apps, and has validated the findings from Kochava.

I want to add an editorial note regarding the outcome of the published reports. Mr. Silverman validated our findings with third parties — and shared the findings with the companies mentioned in the article — before he published. He also shared the video footage and related logs/session history with the companies that were implicated. Like the third parties who validated Kochava’s findings in Mr. Silverman’s article, an unbiased person with a technical background who reviews these materials in their totality is likely to distinguish fact from PR triage. It is notable that the click injection behavior identified in the original Buzzfeed article ceased within a day following the article’s publication.

The validation of our findings by Google in this week’s article speaks for itself.

Kochava is ‘connecting the dots’ between the anonymized ‘site identifiers’ and actual source apps (if they are actually apps at all). While we continue to serve our customers, we also intend to connect the dots across the industry by way of investigative reports, our Kochava Traffic Index (KTI), and other forthcoming initiatives.

As a result of the investigative report by Mr. Silverman, several of the named apps that were committing click injection are no longer doing so (for now). To be clear: Ad fraud protection, like virus protection, needs to be ‘always on,’ especially when you consider the size of digital advertising budgets and how obscured the sources are in the process.

Kochava’s system is always on.

Ad fraud takes money from advertisers and valid publishers. The adtech industry is entering a time of reckoning where fraud is taken more seriously. Kochava delivers the best ad fraud mitigation technologies to its customers, and we’re hopeful our service to them will help reduce fraud in the industry as a whole.