A new crypto extortion scam has begun circulating the internet targeting the owners of websites who have listed their ads on Google. According to the blog posted by KerbsOnSecurity on 17 February, a couple of cases have come forward in which scammers have threatened the owners to attack their website in a way that Google would have to ban their AdSense account. The group responsible for the malicious scheme are demanding Bitcoins in exchange for preventing the attack.
Some websites received threatening emails saying the group will flood their website with an enormous amount of bot-generated web traffic and thousands of IP’s in rotation with 100% bounce ratio which will make Google block their Adsence account permanently. This came as a warning from cybercriminals who demand worth $5,000 of BTC to stop the attack.
The targeted user who reported the scam to KerbsOnSecurity informed that they had detected an unusually increased invalid traffic on their recent AdSense traffic statistics. Google called the threat, a traditional way to trigger an enforcement activity against the owner by sending a massive amount of invalid traffic to their website.
Google’s Latest Ad Policy for AdSense Users
The news came in the wake of Google’s new policy which enstated that the AdSense team will stop displaying ads even before the invalid clicks. Google explained that according to the new policy, Google would identify high-risk activities and invalid traffic even before it happens. It will allow Google to limit ad serving in order to protect its users and advertisers further.
Taking a hard line on decentralization and cryptocurrency, last year in June, Google announced to ban all the crypto-related ads from its website. Again this year, another prominent example of hostility from Google occurred when it blacklisted the use of keywords mentioning Ethereum on its Google Ads platform. Google announced that Ethereum had been blacklisted as a keyword from Google despite the nature of service it is promoting.