In yet another Bitcoin ransom demanding scheme, websites and publishers using the Google Adsense program get threatening emails from Bitcoin scammers demanding Bitcoin ransom in exchange for letting them keep their Google advertisements active, according to a recent article published on 17th February 2020.

If there is one obstacle that is the cause of the concern for almost all governments and financial entities across the globe, standing in the way of legalizing the use of cryptocurrency, it is the astronomical rise in ransomware attacks using crypto in recent years. A Crypto Crime 2020 report by Chainalysis revealed that a majority of these crimes go unreported, implying that the actual number of these new-age crimes could be far higher than anticipated.

Google AdSense users forced to pay up Bitcoin ransom

A recent string of attacks making rounds lately involves users of Google’s AdSense program, which is a web-based application, operated by Google, enabling interactive media content creation targeting a specific kind of audience. In this scam, the attackers are threatening Google Adsense users with excessive junk traffic that Google’s anti-fraud tracking tool will instantly delete and suspend the users’ accounts. 

Thus, in an attempt to keep their accounts active, the program users are required to pay up hefty Bitcoin ransom. A website owner, who has been the victim of the recent series of attacks, notes that the AdSense traffic tracking algorithms are quick to detect bot-created junk traffic. There is no way such web traffic will go undetected and marked as fraudulent, he states.

And while the owner agrees that initially, he did dismiss these threats as harmless warnings, he was prompted to shell out a Bitcoin ransom worth five thousand US dollars ($5000) when he saw a spike in AdSense red-flagged traffic report.

Google steps up its efforts to prevent the damage

Although it is still unclear as to how substantial the impact of these threats has been, Google comments that the chances for large-scale damage are limited. It has strongly warned the companies and publishers against engaging in any kind of communication with parties that signal driving irrelevant and rubbish web traffic.

We have effective tracking mechanisms in place that will attempt to keep any potential damage at bay and minimize its impact on website publishers and advertisers, the company states.

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