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I am wondering where you can find information on botnets, particularly in the context of generating fake internet traffic (click fraud, impression fraud, keyword fraud etc.)

I did some research in the past, and there was an interesting discussion started this morning in the web analytics group, on Analyticbridge. But I'm still trying to understand the exact mechanism used to generate clicks.

Could a click fraud generator be embedded in a Windows .bat file, and run IExplorer.exe in batch mode from the command line? For instance, running

>iexplorer.exe http://www.google.com/search?q=data+mining

from a Dos windows (command line) on a Windows PC will create a bogus impression on Google for the search term 'data mining', thus introducing a bias in Google relevancy algorithms, if this command is run on many PCs (from many IP addresses controlled by a botnet).

Also, what other command line parameters are available for IExplorer.exe? Could you pass the referral as an argument in batch mode, in order to fake referral information? The botnets that I have analyzed were not capable of faking the browser nor the referral.

Tags: botnet, click fraud, fraud detection

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