On the security of pay-per-click and other Web advertising schemes

Vinod Anupam, Alain Mayer, Kobbi Nissim, Benny Pinkas, Michael K. Reiter

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


We present a hit inflation attack on pay-per-click Web advertising schemes. Our attack is virtually impossible for the program provider to detect conclusively, regardless of whether the provider is a third-party `ad network' or the target of the click itself. If practiced widely, this attack could accelerate a move away from pay-per-click programs and toward programs in which referrers are paid only if the referred user subsequently makes a purchase (pay-per-sale) or engages in other substantial activity at the target site (pay-per-lead). We also briefly discuss the lack of auditability inherent in these schemes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1091-1100
Number of pages10
JournalComputer Networks
Issue number11
StatePublished - 17 May 1999
Externally publishedYes
EventThe WWW8: 8th International World Wide Web Conference - Toronto, Ont., Can
Duration: 11 May 199914 May 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications


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