Bitcoin scams have been around since its inception and many law enforcement agencies have come in contact with them. Many Bitcoin cases involve hacking while ransomware attacks are one of the most common types of scams.
Ransomware attacks are those that target a certain device or server and then continue to attack until the ransom is paid. That’s exactly what happened on the internet recently with Bitcoin ransomware attacks on website owners who run banner ads using Google AdSense.
The latest scam involved fraudsters demanding Bitcoin in return for not flooding the website with excess bot traffic. The random traffic spike would alert AdSense, which would, in turn, block the website for manipulated traffic. This is ensured by the anti-fraud systems of Google.
The scammers flood the website with a huge amount of direct bot-generated web traffic with a 100 percent bounce ratio. Fraudsters also use thousands of IPs in rotation, making it very difficult for an AdSense publisher to do so.
While the website will get a traffic boost, the Google algorithm will flag and block the server Perpetrators of the scam have sent detailed instructions as to what would happen in due process of the increased traffic. One part of the message read:
“Next an ad serving limit will be placed on your publisher account and all the revenue will be refunded to advertisers. This means that the main source of profit for your site will be temporarily suspended. It will take some time, usually a month, for the AdSense to lift your ad ban, but if this happens we will have all the resources needed to flood your site again with bad quality web traffic which will lead to second AdSense ban that could be permanent!”
According to the reports, the attackers demanded that Bitcoin’s worth of $5000 be paid as ransom. Because of Bitcoin’s decentralized nature, these payments cannot be tracked back to the receiver. Some of the people who got the threat have thought of it as baseless while others were keeping a wary watch.
Google on their part stated that they have certain safeguards built into their systems to prevent such malicious actions. Alphabet’s major company provides several avenues for companies to come forth and ask about the different types of attacks. Google will also offer to scan user accounts if they were doubtful about its functions.
It has not yet been proven who the culprits are but many watchdogs were waiting for an opportunity to pounce. Bitcoin has been hurt in the past by such scams and reports have claimed that it was on the rise. Once companies take stronger safeguards about such attacks, institutional investors can jump right in.