Devcon raises $4.5M to beef up adtech security

Adtech cybersecurity company Devcon announced today that it has raised $4.5 million in seed funding.

Over the past couple of years, ad fraud has become a bigger concern in the industry, but Devcon co-founder and CEO Maggie Louie said most existing solutions focus on things like verifying ad quality and confirming that impressions aren’t coming from bots. Devcon, in contrast, functions more like “a Norton AntiVirus of adtech,” preventing attempts by bad actors who are “using adtech as a catalyst to attack consumers and companies.”

In other words, Louie said Devcon works with ad networks and publishers to “eliminate 99 percent of the nefarious things that are making their way through the system.” It says it can block malicious ads on an individual basis, whether they include pop-ups and redirects or unauthorized tag injectors. Customers can then view the individually blocked ads and see where they came from, and there’s also a dashboard that shows how much money is being lost to fraud.

Louie pointed to the recent DOJ indictment of eight individuals allegedly involved in a digital ad fraud scheme as a sign that the issue is becoming more serious. READ MORE

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Before the Dust Settles on a Major Ad-Fraud Investigation, Others Are Underway

As the ad-tech world continues to soul-search after the indictments and arrests of several foreign nationals related to a massive ad-fraud scheme, another firm says it’s investigating a similar case involving another 30 fake ad networks.

The ad-tech cybersecurity firm Devcon says it’s spent the past two months investigating a similar case involving at least 30 fake ad networks. The company, based in Memphis, has already passed along information to the FBI.

Within the fake ad networks being investigated by Devcon, the company has seen one of several key characteristics. Michael F D Anaya, Devcon’s head of global cyber investigations, said the bots sometimes install malicious apps that might include ransom ware, while others install tools for fake optimization aimed at getting the users to divulge more information than they should. READ MORE

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Spike in Ad Fraud Targeting Political Content on Election Day

Ad fraud targeting publishers with political content increased 20,000 percent on Election Day 2018, according to DEVCON.

While the biggest news out of the 2018 Midterms on the subject of election security so far comes from resigning Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp announcing an investigation into Georgia’s Democratic Party for attempting to hack the state’s voter registration system, there was an increase in cybersecurity disturbances on Election Day in the form of ad fraud.

DEVCON, a company that provides anti-ad fraud software to media companies, found that on November 6th attacks on publishers’ pages with political content increased 20,000 percent.

There were three distinct types of impression exploits on Election Day:

  • Party Cry

  • Lucky Star

  • Flash Dance

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Former FBI Cyber Squad Supervisor Michael F. D. Anaya Joins DEVCON to Attack $19 Billion Cyber Ad Threat

Company hires veteran cyber crime investigator to help crack the next big segment to be hit by online fraud and theft

DEVCON, a cybersecurity software company dedicated to defeating ad fraud and preserving independent journalism, today announced that one of the nation’s foremost authorities on cyber crime, Michael F.D. Anaya, has joined its team as the Head of Global Cyber Investigations and Government Relations. Anaya comes to DEVCON as a Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Cyber division. His hire coincides with DEVCON’s recent close of seed funding to aggressively fight online ad fraud.

“We are delighted that Michael decided to join our team,” said Maggie Louie, DEVCON co-founder and CEO. “After working together on a case involving more than 30 fake ad networks distributing millions of attacks collectively, we recognized the unique skillset and insights Michael offers. He is the perfect fit as we seek to stop one of the world’s fastest growing and most costly cyber crimes -- one that has a profound impact on advertisers, media companies, and consumers alike.”

Anaya previously served as a Special Agent in the FBI’s Los Angeles field office addressing complex Cyber matters for eight years, during which time he led 

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