DoubleVerify Exposes ‘ViperBot’

It’s a new global fraud scheme attempting to defraud advertisers of over $8 million each month.

DoubleVerify has announced the discovery of “ViperBot,” a sophisticated advertising fraud scheme that attempts to steal over $8 million each month in ad spend across two of the industry’s most in-demand channels: connected television (CTV) and mobile video, the software platform for digital media measurement, data and analytics said on 25 March.

Through ViperBot, fraudsters strip the code that verifies ad impressions and then conceal and redirect this code through real devices to hide the fraudulent activity in an attempt to go undetected. While DV customers are currently protected from the scheme, it continues to spoof more than five million devices and up to 85 million ad requests per day, undercutting ad investments and performance when solutions that can protect against ViperBot are not implemented.

Mark Zagorski, CEO at DoubleVerify, said, “ViperBot is one of the most sophisticated fraud schemes that DV has ever identified. The dynamic nature of fraud schemes underscores the fact that advertisers need a partner who is laser focused on protecting their interests – and who operates independent of the media transaction to remain neutral when determining the quality of inventory.”

“Efficient and transparent media buying leads to better outcomes for brands. By uncovering ViperBot, we are able to give brands greater confidence in their digital investment while ensuring campaign performance,” added Mark Zagorski.

ViperBot relies on both the well-documented occurrence of verification stripping and a new tactic, discovered by DV, called “verification redirection.” Verification stripping is the removal of verification tags previously set by a measurement provider. As this normally causes measurement discrepancies, fraud schemes that rely on verification stripping can regularly be identified by advanced measurement companies. DV, for example, has protected its clients against verification tag fraud for years.