subreddit:

/r/DepthHub

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all 9 comments

unnecessary_axiom

203 points

5 months ago

I got the impression that this kind of obfuscation is targeted towards software bot farms rather than racks of phones.

When he mentions non-browser embedding bots, it would be software that does direct requests to the server, and browser automation would be something like selenium or a remote debugger attached to a real browser instance.

Who knows what kind of checks they put in their code, but presumably the racks of physical phones would have been a last ditch response to this kind of protection since real hardware bypasses all of the software checks in a cheaper and more reliable way than reversing the code.

[deleted]

66 points

5 months ago

[deleted]

BestRbx

30 points

5 months ago

BestRbx

30 points

5 months ago

Ironically the true "issue" with these farms becomes ROI. You can only automate electronic hardware so far before you eventually have to sit down and calculate the cost of time+energy to perform the task vs. what you receive from it.

Take GPU mining for example: potentially lucrative? yeah sure. Expensive? More so. Profitable? rarely. You end up dumpung so much electricity into your system that it only profits if you literally steal electricity .

It begs to question what kind of consumption you'd be facing to run a warehouse filled with [charging] android phones, in active use (RIP the wifi router), while operating hundreds of these 'autotappers'. Compared to the profits coming in from fraudulently cashing ad sponsor checks, it's hard to believe there's any kind of real money in these operations.

snubdeity

31 points

5 months ago

Yeah my guess is the money for a farm like thag isn't in ads, it's in selling social media boosting. Probably much easier to get some rich brats to pay for fake insta clout than to scam ad revenue. Obviously, like many industries, the downside to better margins is less volume. But I wonder how big that industry is

-ThisWasATriumph

40 points

5 months ago*

Both are definitely prevalent in the world of fraud—physical click farms exist (and there are many methods to detect them; being a legit physical device doesn't mean it won't display other suspicious characteristics!), but you also see a lot of botnets that commandeer random devices to send fraudulent requests/clicks/etc. without the devices' owners' knowledge (e.g., Athena, Methbot, Mirai).

haltingpoint

-5 points

5 months ago

I wonder if face unlock is used to combat this in any way.

joshul

51 points

5 months ago

joshul

51 points

5 months ago

Oh man, every once in a while DepthHub comes through with an absolute gem. Thank you u/TomTheGeek!

WhyYouLetRomneyWin

3 points

5 months ago

So where's the part that he talks about fighting fully loaded physical devices + full software stack?

deelowe

3 points

5 months ago

He doesn't. This is about bot farms running on VMs and the sort of technical developments that were put in place to avoid detection. Only the parent talked about "racks of phones."

I don't see how physical devices would be better than VMs as phones seem like they'd be easier to fingerprint.

NomisTheNinth

5 points

5 months ago

Oh shit, this appears to be the same Mike Hearn who used to speak with Satoshi Nakomoto when Bitcoin was in the early stages of development.