click signing ad fraud

Liftoff PlatformMobile Fraud

by Anya Pratskevich | March 14, 2019

By 2022, according to eMarketer, mobile advertising is estimated to account for $141.36 billion of US media ad spending. A great percentage of that money will go to ad fraud. While winning the war against fraud is an ambitious goal for our industry right now, there are actions we can take to minimize the losses. As part of our commitment to improving quality in mobile advertising, Liftoff is partnering with Kochava to implement Click Signing, a new method to mitigate click spam.

Developed by Liftoff, Click Signing is a new application of HMAC, a cryptographical method to verify data integrity and authenticate a message, designed to prevent click spam by signing all campaign URLs sent to Kochava with a HMAC signature. Click Signing works with Kochava’s new Click Authentication protocols to block traffic that did not genuinely originate from Liftoff’s ad servers. The result is that fraudsters will no longer be able to steal ad click URLs sent to Kochava to generate phantom clicks.

Click spam is a form of mobile ad fraud where fraudsters scrape an ad campaign URL and replay it directly to MMPs — sometimes, tens of thousands of times. This tactic allows fraudsters to claim organic installs as their own, causing advertisers to lose money. A lot of money. As digital ad spend continues to shift towards mobile, click spam will account for a greater percentage money lost to ad fraud — projected to reach $44 billion by 2022, according to Juniper Research.

Click Signing mitigates click spam by setting an additional timestamp parameter for all campaign URLs, including server-side clicks (SSC). Combined with SSC, Click Signing will minimize duplicate clicks caused by fraudulent devices or apps. This will protect campaign budgets from click fraud and prevent duplicate clicks from muddling a marketer’s performance data with false signals.

“Our integrated media partners are showing more and more interest in working together to solve real problems faced by marketers. Kochava has certainly done a lot of its own work on fraud prevention, but measures like this require cooperation on both sides; this is not something we could’ve rolled out unilaterally. This type of collaboration needs to be the new norm if we’re going to continue driving real change,” said Mark Kellogg, Sr. Director Product Operations, Kochava.

“Partnering with Kochava on this collaborative effort is an exciting step to further strengthen our relationship with Kochava and the marketers we serve”, said Dennis Mink, VP Marketing, Liftoff. “We strive to provide our clients with clean, premium traffic, and this further protects ourselves and our clients from many forms of click fraud”.

With marketers funneling more ad dollars into mobile, effectively cracking down on ad fraud will require collaboration across the entire mobile ecosystem. In partnership with Kochava, Branch, Adjust, CAAF and Appsflyer, Liftoff will continue implementing anti-fraud solutions to protect our customers and ensure the integrity of their campaigns.