Largest CTV Ad Scam Faked 29 Million Addresses

As much as $15 million might have been diverted by the CTV ad scam operation
As much as $15 million might have been diverted by the CTV ad scam operation (Image credit: IronHeart via Getty Images)

Scammers are following viewers as they go over the top, and what is described as the largest CTV ad fraud operations so far has been uncovered.

Dubbed StreamScam, the operation exploited flaws in CTV ad service technology and spoofed more than 28.8 million U.S. household IP address, including 3,600 apps and 3,400 CTV device models.

As much as $15 million worth of ad spending might have been diverted by the scam.

StreamScam took advantage of CTV’s server-side ad insertion technology, which combines content and ads into a single video stream.

“Where advertising dollars go, criminals will follow, and rapidly-growing channels like CTV are presenting new opportunities for ad fraud and theft,” said Mark Kopera, head of product for Oracle Moat. “In a quickly evolving landscape of risks and opportunities, it’s critical for marketers to work with trusted partners that have the knowledge, experience, and scale to identify and block new threats as they emerge. We look forward to working with companies across the digital advertising ecosystem to expose and work to prevent this and other emerging types of ad fraud, as well as protect advertisers’ vital campaign resources.”

Efforts are being made to combat fraud in the digital video area, including the formation of the Trustworthy Accountability Group.

"To address these new types of threats in digital advertising, TAG has expanded its threat sharing capabilities through the TAG Threat Exchange to quickly disseminate information about new and emerging threats in areas like CTV ad fraud. We look forward to continuing to work with Oracle Moat and other participating companies to build an impenetrable barrier against the criminals who would profit from ad fraud," said Mike Zaneis, CEO of the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG).

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.