“King of Fraud” Gets Ten Years
A Russian cyber-criminal has been sent to prison in the United States for defrauding American companies out of millions of dollars.
Aleksandr Zhukov ran a sophisticated digital advertising scam through purported advertising network Media Methane. In June, he was convicted of wire fraud conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering conspiracy, and money laundering.
Zhukov, the self-styled “king of fraud,” worked with accomplices to trick victim companies into believing that they had purchased genuine digital advertising space. In reality, Media Methane was merely a smoke and mirrors operation, deploying a combination of coding and domain spoofing to give the false impression that victims’ ads were being viewed.
“Rather than place advertisements on real publishers’ web pages where human internet users would see them, Zhukov rented more than 2,000 computer servers housed in commercial datacenters in Dallas, Texas, Amsterdam and the Netherlands, and programmed the datacenter computer servers (the “bots”) to simulate humans viewing ads on webpages,” stated the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York in a statement released Wednesday.
The criminals programmed the bots to load genuine ads on blank web pages and then deceived their victims into believing that the ads were loading on authentic websites.