Google took down 2.3 billion bad ads in 2018,including 58.8M phishing ads

Pierluigi Paganini March 18, 2019

Google recently shared details about its efforts against malicious advertisement, the giant took down 2.3 billion bad ads last year.

Google revealed that it took down 2.3 billion bad ads in 2018, including 58.8 million phishing ads for violation of its policies.

Google introduced 31 new ads policies in 2018, aiming at protecting users from scams and other fraudulent activities (i.e. third-party tech support, ticket resellers, and crypto-currency).

Some of the policies added by Google in 2018 include the ban of ads from for-profit bail bond providers that were abused for taking advantage of vulnerable communities.

“In all, we introduced 31 new ads policies in 2018 to address abuses in areas including third-party tech support, ticket resellers, cryptocurrency and local services such as garage door repairmen, bail bonds and addiction treatment facilities.” reads the press release published by Google.

“We took down 2.3 billion bad ads in 2018 for violations of both new and existing policies, including nearly 207,000 ads for ticket resellers, over 531,000 ads for bail bonds and approximately 58.8 million phishing ads. Overall, that’s more than six million bad ads, every day.”

Malicious ads that Google took down in 2018 include nearly 207,000 ads for ticket resellers and over 531,000 ads for bail bonds.

Google announced it will launch next month a new policy manager in Google Ads that will give tips to advertisers to avoid common policy mistakes.

Google also revealed it was able to identify threat actors behind bad ads with the help of improved machine learning technology, it terminated nearly one million bad advertiser accounts.

“When we take action at the account level, it helps to address the root cause of bad ads and better protect our users,” continues Google.

In 2017, Google launched new technology for more granular analysis of ads, one year later the company launched 330 detection classifiers to help us better detect “badness” at the page level (nearly three times the number of classifiers launched in 2017 by the tech giant).

“So while we terminated nearly 734,000 publishers and app developers from our ad network, and removed ads completely from nearly 1.5 million apps, we were also able to take more granular action by taking ads off of nearly 28 million pages” Google adds.

Last year, Google introduced a new policy specifically created for election ads in the U.S. ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. The company aimed at preventing misinformation and fake news, it verified nearly 143,000 election ads, similar tools are being launched ahead of elections in the EU and India.

Google removed ads from approximately 1.2 million pages, more than 22,000 apps, and nearly 15,000 sites last year.

Ads from almost 74,000 pages were removed for violating their “dangerous or derogatory” content policy. 190,000 ads were taken down for violating this policy.

In 2018, Google helped the FBI, along with the cyber-security firm White Ops, to take down a sophisticated ad fraud scheme called ‘3ve’ that allowed its operators to earn tens of millions of dollars. 3ve infected over 1.7 million computers to carry out advertising frauds.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – malicious ads, Google)

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