Spigot Inc wants to warn sports advertisers that Forensiq has uncovered “a sophisticated bot that is taking over major sports sites and costing advertisers up to $250 Million.”

“A discovery from fraud company Forensiq claims advertisers are losing big money from a stealthy bot that’s using a new tactic to siphon millions of dollars away from sports websites including NFL team domains, ESPN and CBS Sports.

The firm’s technology uncovered the sports bot after tracking web traffic to all 32 NFL team sites for 90 days as well as bigger sports sites such as ESPN, CBS Sports and NBA and MLB properties, totaling 340 million impressions. Unlike more well-known tactics where fraudsters target so-called long-tail websites where content is never seen by consumers, Forensiq believes this bot is targeting premium content, essentially hijacking legitimate publishers’ online ad space through malware. Specifically, the bot is focused on video ad units, which typically have higher cost-per-thousand, or CPM, prices.

“This bot is injecting ads on the sites and then monetizing them through networks and other types of traffic sources so that the site is not losing any revenue from the bot but their name is being taken advantage of,” said Amit Joshi, director of data science at Forensiq.”

Read the full article and how Forseniq thinks that it happens on Adweek