AdBudgetKiller: Online advertising budget draining attack
In this paper, we present a new ad budget draining attack. By repeatedly pulling ads from targeted advertisers using crafted browsing profiles, we are able to reduce the chance of showing their ads to real-human visitors and trash the ad budget. From the advertiser profiles collected by an automated crawler, we infer advertising strategies, train satisfying browsing profiles and launch large-scale attacks. We evaluate our methods on 291 public advertisers selected from Alexa Top 500, where we successfully reveal the targeting strategies used by 87% of the advertisers we considered. We also executed a series of attacks against a controlled advertiser and 3 real-world advertisers within the ethical and legal boundary. The results show that we are able to fetch 40,958 ads and drain up to $155.89 from the targeted advertisers within an hour.