404bot Underscores the Ever-Evolving Threat of Ad Fraud

Elaborate scheme is deliberately crafted to circumvent Ads.txt safeguards

The scheme generates fake browser data by creating fabricated URLs. Getty Images

In 2019, digital ad spending tipped the scales at $333 billion globally and accounted for more than half of all media dollars for the first time. This year, it is expected to hit $385 billion, according to eMarketer. All of this makes it a prime target for fraudsters eager to siphon ad dollars from the industry while hiding in plain sight amid the complex ad-tech ecosystem.

@ronan_shields ronan.shields@adweek.com Ronan Shields is Adweek's programmatic editor.