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CTV fraud schemes like MultiTerra and SneakyTerra could cost CTV publishers over $144M annually

WHO: DoubleVerify (“DV”) is a leading software platform for digital media measurement, data and analytics.

WHAT: Connected TV (CTV) advertisers in the US spent $14.44 billion last year on CTV*, and at its current pace, that number is expected to grow to $27.5 billion by the end of 2025.** As the revenue opportunities in CTV grow rapidly, so does the opportunity for fraudsters.

Over the last year, DV has uncovered multiple major CTV fraud schemes that had the potential to cost CTV publishers over $144 million annually, at an average of $20 CPM across CTV. Upon discovery, DV blocked and neutralized them for its clients.

A few of the schemes include:

  • MultiTerra- Uncovered in late 2020, the botnet was designed to create fraudulent inventory in CTV and mobile environments. MultiTerra undermines the monetization potential of legitimate CTV supply providers by artificially inflating inventory volume and directing media investment away from these platforms. This particular botnet generated more than three million fake impressions a day at its peak in CTV and mobile environments. At the time, the inventory value of the impression requests was on track for stealing over $1 million a month.
  • SneakyTerra– Uncovered in late 2020, this was the first server-side ad insertion (SSAI) scheme known to hijack real CTV device sessions. At its peak, the highly sophisticated scheme spoofed over 2 million devices each day, and may have cost more than $5 million per month.
  • LeoTerra/StreamScam – Uncovered in late 2020, “StreamScam” highlighted a very common approach to CTV fraud related to SSAI. In these types of schemes, fraudsters set up counterfeit SSAI servers and then manufacture CTV inventory across an unlimited number of apps, IPs and devices.
  • ParrotTerra – Uncovered in early 2021, a CTV fraud scheme dubbed “ParrotTerra” showcased a scheme where fraudsters set up counterfeit SSAI servers to generate fake CTV inventory across countless apps, IPs and devices. While similar to LeoTerra, which DV detected in July 2020, ParrotTerra scaled over three times as many unique device signatures daily and spoofed over 35% more apps.

“CTV ad fraud doesn’t just impact advertiser ad spend, it also impacts publishers’ bottom lines,” said Mimi Wotring, Senior Vice President of Publisher Sales and Client Services at DoubleVerify. “Schemes like MultiTerra and SneakyTerra siphon millions of dollars of revenue from high-quality CTV publishers without their knowledge. Through the incredible efforts of our Fraud Lab, DV helps preserve the monetization opportunity for these publishers who deserve a premium for their inventory and engaged audience access.”

DV’s Fraud Lab — powered by a dedicated team of data scientists, mathematicians and analysts — performs ongoing detection and analysis of new types of ad fraud across channels in order to uncover the latest schemes as they occur. Through continuous analysis, scenario management and research, the Fraud Lab pinpoints the sites, apps and devices responsible for fraudulent activity and updates protection for DV clients in real-time. Business Wire

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