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Russian Invasion of Ukraine's Influence on Global Ad Fraud
By: Anura Solutions
"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,"
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. 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.