Saturday, May 27, 2006

Viral Clickbot Zombie Network - Not a Virus but a Trojan Distributed by P2P

Just to clarify, the virally distributed zombie network I blogged about in my last post, is not actually a virus but a trojan. As such is growth rate (spawn rate) is not as high as it would have been if it utilised a viral transfer mechanism.

Clickbot.A is distributed mostly via P2P networks, so be careful what you download especially when looking for cracked software or P2P porn - you have been warned!
The Clickbot.A mechanism consists of two parts. The first is an executable file that launches a dynamic link library on the system, which later deletes itself. The second is a component of Internet Explorer that notifies the attacker that computer is infected, even allowing the control components to be updated. The bot then registers in the database of the control system, checking that the creator has given authorization to start clicking, and if so, will request the list of addresses from which to click.

OK... so a distributed clickbot isn't going to compromise your computer, but if you're moving in shady circles like these, then expect worse than just clickbots. I speak from experience. I once tried to install a crack from e-mule and it destroyed my machine on a low level. It was the worst nightmare i've had personally and will a) never forget it and b) learn from playing around in dirty water.

My advice.... back up your data and if you need the software commercially, get a legit copy! and if you want to try it out use a legit trial copy.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Click Fraud - Virally Distributed ClickBot Zombie Network - Clickbot.a

Having been working for the past 6 months as a the search marketing executive for a travel company. I've spent the majority of my time managing the PPC adwords campaign, I've constantly noticed some rather unusual click activitiy especially for such competitive phrases as "hotels in manchester" similar derivities for prime destinations. In some instances I saw click though rates as high as 60% on certain days and for certain terms..

While my ad copy writing and testing skills are pretty hot (thanks to the time I spent learning the art from my mentors and old friends Mark Joyner and Dr Joe Vitale) I was unable to explain such freek anomalies on an increasingly day by day basis.

That inability to explain the unusual click behaviour all changed when I stumbled across the podcast show "SEO Rockstars". Having being out of the SEO game for a number of years, in favour of email and viral marketing (.... yes I was short sighted enough to believe that SEO was dead as far back as when paid inclusion and PPC came along) I learned about just how prolific click fraud had become thanks the the insight of Mr Greg Boser (aka WebGuerrilla)

Long story short, last week I recieved an email from my Adwords Rep regarded potential click fraud rebate....

Today I learned that....
PandaLabs has detected a network of computers infected with the bot Clickbot.A, which is being used to defraud ‘pay per click’ systems, registering clicks automatically and providing lucrative returns for the creators. According to the data collected so far, the scam is exploiting a global network comprising more than 34,000 zombie computers (those infected by the bot).
See the full article on what they have uncovered go to Help Net Security.

If you are concerned about Click Fraud, I'd strongly advise you listen to Greg and Darren discussing the click fraud on That's a Wrap following his participation on the click fraud panel at Search Engine Strategies (New York)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Viral Campaign. Mini Cooper - Best Viral Branding Campaign I've Seen

This has to be the smartest viral campaign I've ever come accross. Promoting the new mini cooper. It allows a totally personalized experience which is based on content submitted by the sender based on what you know of the recipient.

Name, where do the come from, whay they do for a living, how's his love life, how would I recognise him, what they do in their spair time, and biggest crime against mankind.

Here's the one I sent to my mate Steve

The production both audio and visual is fantastic. This has to set a new standard in viral advertising and branding. You can customise and send one to a friend from

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Catering Supplies in York - Viral Link Acquisition Challenge

Here's a challenge... I've been doing a little bit SEO for a york catering supplies company, so I started out by getting listed in a hand full of directories in the appropriate catering supplies catagories, and acquiring a few authority links, then get their pages correctly optimised for their keyword terms.

Being that they are local catering supplies company who I've known for some time now, I'd like to come up with a little something special in terms of a viral link strategy to help fast track their online catering business. So far 100% of their business is generated by adwords.

However, with catering equipments not being the sexiest product in the world. I'm finding it a little bit of a challenge coming up with a creative solution.

Any suggestions on this matter would be appreciated.

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