Identified earlier this week by White Ops, an invalid traffic detection and prevention service provider, and named for obscure references embedded in its code, “Methbot” is a sophisticated Russian botnet designed to capture digital advertising revenue by generating nonhuman traffic—mainly on video inventory. The story has dominated news coverage and conversations throughout the industry this week—and with good reason: according to reports, Methbot is “the most profitable and advanced ad fraud operation ever seen by the industry,” generating as much as 200-300 million nonhuman impressions per day and siphoning upwards of $180 million from the digital media industry.
Quality in all of its various forms has been paramount since we founded PubMatic in 2006, and it remains a top priority today. In addition to continually updating our filtering and inventory quality tools proactively, we also partner with various third-party service providers to help provide the high levels of protection, visibility and transparency our customers and clients have come to expect from PubMatic over the years.
After conducting our own analysis, we’re pleased to report that the inventory and ad quality tools and processes we have in place mitigated the impact of Methbot on our publishers and demand partners. In fact, less than 0.002% of the impressions on our platform were affected, and we’re confident that we’ve succeeded in addressing the issues that are creating invalid traffic generated by this botnet scheme. Accordingly, we will be working with all of our publisher and advertiser clients to assure that we continue to provide the means to address issues such as this.
This incident highlights how important it is for all of the players in our industry to work together to ensure that we’re providing consumers with quality advertising experiences–whether we’re an SSP, DSP, DMP, ATD or any other acronym.