Priceless: The role of payments in abuse-advertised goods

Damon McCoy, Hitesh Dharmdasani, Christian Kreibich, Geoffrey M. Voelker, Stefan Savage

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Abstract

    Large-scale abusive advertising is a profit-driven endeavor. Without consumers purchasing spam-advertised Viagra, search-advertised counterfeit software or malware-advertised fake anti-virus, these campaigns could not be economically justified. Thus, in addition to the numerous efforts focused on identifying and blocking individual abusive advertising mechanisms, a parallel research direction has emerged focused on undermining the associated means of monetization: payment networks. In this paper we explain the complex role of payment processing in monetizing the modern affiliate program ecosystem and characterize the dynamics of these banking relationships over two years within the counterfeit pharmaceutical and software sectors. By opportunistically combining our own active purchasing data with contemporary disruption efforts by brand-holders and payment card networks, we gather the first empirical dataset concerning this approach. We discuss how well such payment interventions work, how abusive merchants respond in kind and the role that the payments ecosystem is likely to play in the future.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationCCS'12 - Proceedings of the 2012 ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security
    Pages845-856
    Number of pages12
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2012
    Event2012 ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS 2012 - Raleigh, NC, United States
    Duration: Oct 16 2012Oct 18 2012

    Publication series

    NameProceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security
    ISSN (Print)1543-7221

    Other

    Other2012 ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS 2012
    CountryUnited States
    CityRaleigh, NC
    Period10/16/1210/18/12

    Keywords

    • Economics
    • Measurement
    • Security

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Software
    • Computer Networks and Communications

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