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Pixalate Week in Review: October 23 - 27, 2017

This week's review of ad fraud and quality in the digital advertising space.

1. Pixalate unveils list of sites secretly mining for cryptocurrency


Pixalate this week released the list of sites that are using Coinhive to secretly mine for cryptocurrency using their visitors' CPUs. Read the post to learn more about how "cryptojacking" works, and download the full list of sites.

2. The Guardian wants publishers to come together to 'clean up' programmatic


"The Guardian is in talks with European media owners Axel Springer and Schibsted over how to throttle ad fraud and other opaque practices occurring in the programmatic advertising supply chain," reported Digiday. "...[W]e need to be clear with partners on zero tolerance to fraud," said Danny Spears, programmatic director at the Guardian, at the Digiday Publishing Summit Europe event.

3. Advertisers have been 'living a lie'


Business Insider's Mike Shields reacts to last week's bombshell BuzzFeed News report on the "zombie site" fraud ring, writing that "the advertising industry has been living a lie." Business Insider added: "...why is this still happening? Aren't big marketers screaming about the need for transparency, and shining a light on the murky ad tech supply chain?"

4. 'GhostClicker' adware found in 340 apps on Google Play Store


Bleeping Computer has reported that GhostClicker "managed to sneak [its] malware on the official Google Play Store on several occasions, hiding it in as much as 340 mundane Android apps." The article adds: "As the name suggests, GhostClicker taps on ads for the adware operator's profit. It doesn't tap on any ads, but only those served via Google's AdMob platform."

"As a secondary method of earning money, GhostClicker also participates in traffic redirection affiliate schemes by showing popups and ads over other apps, trying to redirect users to various pages, such as YouTube links, the Play Store pages of other apps, and more," wrote Bleeping Computer.

5. Android malware adds devices to botnet


"Symantec has found eight apps infected with the Sockbot malware on Google Play that can add compromised devices to a botnet and potentially perform DDoS attacks," Symantec reported in a company blog post. The install base of those eight apps "rang[es] from 600,000 to 2.6 million devices." The blog added: "This malware appears primarily targeting users in the United States, but also has a presence in Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, and Germany."

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