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Lawsuit Alleges New “Bang Box” Click Fraud Scheme

05-11-2007 05:17 PM CET | IT, New Media & Software

Press release from: Click Defense

/ PR Agency: Advanced Internet Technologies, Inc.
May 9, 2007 -- Scott Boyenger, CEO for Click Defense (clickdefense.com), a company specializing in combating click fraud and obtaining refunds for clients, today announced it has independently confirmed log files related to the “Bang Box” click fraud lawsuit filed by Advanced Internet Technologies, (AIT – ait.com) against the Fayetteville Publishing Company (FPC – fayoberserver.com).

“We received the logs from Web hosting company AIT, and it appeared to us that this traffic is repetitive and manufactured,” Boyenger said.

The lawsuit alleges that the manufactured traffic's sole intent is to drive up the number of impressions thus driving up the bid price for PPC advertising through the search engines and Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) members. Additionally, the lawsuit and discovery allege that many of the clicks made across the PPC ads were done so without even loading the designated website.

“The type of click fraud alleged in this lawsuit is new and very clever,” Boyenger said. “The traffic patterns and IP addresses blend with the ISP’s address space and make it appear like legitimate traffic.

According to the lawsuit, FPC co-located its servers in AIT’s Data Center for years and was being fed advertiser ads from search engines, syndicates and other IAB members to its Web site. The lawsuit alleges that FPC hired a third-party to rent a web server inside AIT’s Data Center in order to click on the ads without generating suspicious external traffic patterns.

The lawsuit and criminal complaints filed with the Fayetteville Police Department and FBI allege that AIT was able to monitor Web traffic to and from the Fayetteville Observers Web site and that up to 80 percent of it was potentially manufactured.

According to the lawsuit, AIT, like many other local and national advertisers, spent a significant amount of advertising dollars on the Fayetteville Observer's web site, especially since the print ads were tied to the online ads for advertisers.

AIT's Chief Information Officer, Michael Roberts said, "This whole lawsuit came about when we (AIT) grew suspicious that we were being over-billed for advertising."

Clarence Briggs, CEO and Founder of AIT said he has compiled a list of both national and local advertisers who conducted business with FPC. Briggs said he suggests those advertisers use third-party experts, such as Click Defense a well-respected company that performs a Web analytics, to determine if they are victims of this latest scam.

"We were very surprised when AIT contacted us and we met with their attorneys," said Laura Mussler, a local restaurant owner.

Briggs will be the keynote speaker at ISPCON this year, www.ispcon.com/conference/keynotes.php. ISPCON is the capstone event for the Internet industry. Briggs says he intends to use the information alleged in the lawsuit to illustrate the anatomy of click fraud from the search engines and syndicates down to local publishers.

"We are going to put the entire civil lawsuit and discovery online since it is public domain information anyway," said Briggs. "As well as resume our criminal complaint. People need to know the truth and get educated."

AIT is the company that led the class action lawsuit against Google. AIT has also worked with the FBI and Senate Judiciary Committee regarding Click Fraud and its potential ties to funding organized crime and terrorism. AIT started the Click Fraud portal www.igeryon.org as a non-profit clearing house to address the issue.

The complaint filed by AIT against FPC is located there along with sample sniffer logs, photos and some advertisers who might have been victims of the Bang Box Click Fraud scenario alleged in the lawsuit.

About AIT:

Welcome to Advanced Internet Technologies, Inc., home to over 210,000 customers to include Fortune 500 companies as well as small businesses. AIT was founded in North Carolina and has grown to a multimillion dollar web hosting and technology company. From a garage start-up to a 93,000 SF Headquarters, AIT has always been entrepreneurial and customer-centric. Small businesses to larger clients like Time Warner, Microsoft, Newsweek, U.S. Federal Government, PC World, United Nations, Business Week, The Oakridge Boys, State of North Carolina, Department of Defense, Wall Street Journal, ZD net, Pizza Hut, Goodyear, Smart Money, Discover Radio, and many more have benefited from AIT's products and services. The technology company has achieved 10 straight years of sustained profitability generating $100s of millions in revenue creating a profound influence on its surrounding community. AIT has created more than 236 IT jobs AIT has also been named 2 times to the Inc. 500 list of fast growing firms, 3 times to the Deloitte & Touche Fast 500 list, and has been named as the NC Entrepreneur Firm of the Year. For a complete list of our plans, features and benefits, please visit our website at http://www.AITdomains.com/web-hosting-special.php

Jeff Murray
V.P. Marketing – Business Development
AIT, Inc. www.AIT.com
910-321-1200 (Office) ext 4430
910-977-6190 (Mobile)
jmurray@AIT.com

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