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Affiliate crookies: characterizing affiliate marketing abuse

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By n chachra · 2015 · cited by 49 — modern affiliate marketing networks provide an infrastructure for ... shareasale, clickbank, amazon associates program, and host-. gator affiliate program. 7 pages
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Affiliate Crookies: Characterizing Affiliate Marketing AbuseNeha [email protected] Stefan [email protected] M. [email protected] of Computer Science and EngineeringUniversity of California, San DiegoABSTRACTModern affiliate marketing networks provide an infrastructure forconnecting merchants seeking customers with independent mar-keters (affiliates) seeking compensation. This approach dependson Web cookies to identify, at checkout time, which affiliate shouldreceive a commission. Thus, scammers “stuff” their own cookiesinto a user’s browser to divert this revenue. This paper providesa measurement-based characterization of cookie-stuffing fraud inonline affiliate marketing. We use a custom-built Chrome exten-sion, AffTracker, to identify affiliate cookies and use it to gatherdata from hundreds of thousands of crawled domains which we ex-pect to be targeted by fraudulent affiliates. Overall, despite somenotable historical precedents, we found c...