So far this holiday season, we’ve seen a pronounced pickup, as expected, in the shift to digital shopping that is one of the central aspects of our Digital Lifestyle investing theme. New research shows that shift is also serving as a spark for cyber attacks, increasing the risk of identity theft, fraudulent traffic and other malicious activity that is a tailwind for cyber spending and our Safety & Security investing theme.
The ad-verification company Fraudlogix published recent data showing an increase in fraudulent advertising traffic in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and the holiday shopping season.
Fraudlogix analyzed three months of global programmatic ad traffic and found that the average percentage of fraudulent traffic jumped from 11.6% in October to 14.2% in November. The data includes all device types.
Invalid or fraudulent traffic is generated by bots, hijacked devices, or malware. The data comes from monitoring traffic from more than 640 million unique users, 1.2 billion unique devices, and 12 million URLs monthly.
Fraudlogix is not the only company to identify a rise in fraudulent ad traffic. Companies like Distil Networks estimate that bots create about 48% of all internet traffic across all web sites. Google and White Ops also helped the U.S. Department of Justice indict two people from Kazakhstan and six Russian nationals for alleged involvement in a digital advertising fraud scheme worth about $29 million in fake digital ads.