MIDDLETOWN, Delaware, August 12, 2023 – Anura Solutions, LLC, experts in digital advertising fraud detection, and the University of Delaware announce the release of a comprehensive white paper that outlines the effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on global digital advertising fraud. The study and research were conducted by University of Delaware’s Edward Hartono, Ph.D.
“What particularly intrigues us in this study is the discovery of a substantial decrease in ad fraud in Russia following the Ukraine invasion—a surprising twist that calls for a more comprehensive investigation,” says Hartono. “Normally, we associate political and economic instability with an uptick in criminal activities, including fraud. Therefore, our research is dedicated to dissecting the specific factors and dynamics that have led to this surprising and counterintuitive trend.”
The approach of the white paper was to examine extensive data collected by Anura detailing traffic to their clients’ global web assets during the months leading up to the invasion and the days immediately following the conflict. Leveraging a combination of machine learning algorithms and experienced engineers, Anura’s team meticulously analyzed the data to detect any telltale signs of fraudulent activity. The research uncovered a unexpected phenomenon of reduced fraudulent activity in the days following the invasion. The paper examines the possible explanations for the decline by analyzing the exchange between the global online advertising industry and the political, social, and economic instability of Ukraine and surrounding areas.
“The findings of this research were overwhelming when we looked at the numbers immediately following the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” said Rich Kahn, CEO and co-founder of Anura Solutions LLC. “The overall amount of global digital advertising fraud dropped significantly in the days following the attack. Those results were not unexpected to our team, as we are aware that a substantial proportion of digital advertising fraud originates from the regions of Russia and China. In areas with large populations and elevated poverty rates worldwide, desperate individuals commonly resort to fraudulent activities to survive, often making digital ad fraud the answer,” explains Kahn.
In the year 2022, the global spend on advertising exceeded $500 billion. This substantial financial contribution makes online businesses particularly attractive targets for individuals seeking to exploit illegitimate activities. Notably, there has been a surge in the number of illicit bots and human fraud farms, with a substantial number originating from the Eastern European countries that experienced disruption due to the Ukraine invasion.
“Russia faces a lot of adverse consequences due to its actions in Ukraine,” says Kahn. “The ongoing conflict is widely condemned by the international community and, as a result, Russia is certain to endure long-term repercussions, spanning both legitimate and criminal gains for decades to come.” Unprecedented sanctions on Russia will not only impair financial exchange and trade, but will continue impede the global community from spreading Russian based digital ad fraud.
“Given the substantial decrease in ad fraud following a military invasion, we can anticipate that similar large-scale events will exert a significant impact on online fraud within the conflict-affected countries. This foresight is invaluable for companies like Anura and online advertisers, enabling them to formulate strategies to mitigate losses more effectively,” says Hartono.
Anura is a leading provider of ad fraud detection designed to improve digital advertising campaign performance by accurately exposing bots, malware, and human fraud in real-time. Anura has continuously optimized its platform over the years by analyzing customer conversion data and hundreds of other relevant data points. The cumulative intelligence built into the platform over almost two decades can easily pinpoint the source of fraud with remarkable accuracy. Anura’s integration offers complete transparency with a full analytics dashboard to identify bad traffic using a variety of metrics. Anura’s solution mitigates ad fraud allowing advertisers to invest more resources towards growing their business. The Anura solution works to eliminate false positives by only marking visitors as fraudulent when it is 100% confident the visitor isn’t real.