Andre Durand

Discovering life, one mistake at a time.

Archive for August, 2007

More on Click-Fraud

August 30, 2007 By: Andre Category: Identity

Click fraud occurs when a person or a computer program clicks on an ad to generate a fraudulent cost-per-click charge.

Quite coincidentally, Mike here at Ping forwarded me an article published only a few days back by

  • Yahoo has created a new Traffic Quality Center — an online resource designed to help
    provide greater transparency as to what the engine is doing to help
    define, prevent and protect against click fraud.
  • Microsoft’s adCenter
    now features Click Quality Reports, giving advertisers better visibility
    into click quality.
  • Google just-introduced the Ad Traffic Quality Resource Center and its Internet
    Protocol Address Exclusion — a product that allows advertisers to
    exclude IP addresses where advertisers don’t want their ads to appear.
    Google said it continues to develop new filters and systems used to
    detect invalid clicks.

I know that at least with Google, there is a method of petitioning to have some of our advertising dollars refunded if it can be proved that the charges originated from click-fraud.

Sounds to me like a perfect start-up business idea. That is, build a system that demonstrates where click-fraud occurred and run around to all of the advertisers listed on the link-farm web pages, exposing their fraudulent advertising charges and helping them receive refunds from the ad networks. If someone did this for Ping, I’d gladly pay 50% of the refund to that person.

Do this effectively, and I’ll bet the ad networks get their act together on this issue pronto.

Google’s Dirty Little Secret

August 27, 2007 By: Andre Category: Identity

My company recently signed up for a hosted marketing campaign solution which provides us all sorts of statistics on where and how traffic gets to us on the web.

The guy in charge of our marketing campaigns, and also our Google Adwords spend (which I’ve been a big supporter of for the past few years), recently ran a report and discovered nearly 2/3rds of our traffic generated from link-farm websites such as — which by the way advertises everything from Java Open Source tools to XXX adult websites.

Clearly no-one legitimate finds their SAML federation software through these websites, which have completely consumed nearly every domain not used by a real company. By simply tracking back the origination of the click-stream, we found most of the traffic originating from countries like Egypt, Indonesia, Turkey, Algeria etc.

I suspect these link-farms are making a killing off the billions being spent by legitimate companies hoping to find legitimate buyers through syndicated advertising networks such as Google Adwords (where we had been focusing the bulk of our online marketing budget).

It apparently doesn’t take a tremendous amount of sophistication to find out if your hard earned marketing dollars are being scammed by link-farms, zombies and botnets. If you spend any money at all in on-line advertising, you might want to look into where your clicks are coming from.

I’m not sure how much of this has been written about in the press, or even acknowledged as a problem, but the shear magnitude of the issue if extrapolated from our small little experience, is simply daunting.

I’m a fan of Google, and also of online advertising in general. I knew this was happening, but figured it represented perhaps 10%. Finding out it represented over 50% was the surprise.

Lake Powell 2007

August 24, 2007 By: Andre Category: Identity

Every year for the past 7 years a few friends and I have done a house boat trip to Lake Powell. The trip is, in my opinion, one of the very best vacations. These pictures speak the truth…

Photos Part 1:

Photos Part

$11 Billion Food Supplier does SAML 2.0 in 15 business days

August 06, 2007 By: Andre Category: Identity

We’re moving into a new phase here at Ping Identity, celebrating not just a customer win, but instead our customers success. Accelerating our customers time to production with federation is something we take very seriously.

Recently, an $11 billion food supplier purchased
PingFederate to enable web single sign-on for their 33,000 employees
connecting with Rearden Commerce, also a PingFederate customer (who now has 15 SAML connections in less than 1 month). The
secure connection was established using SAML 2.0.

Commerce provides corporate travel and expense management to enterprise
customers. From first interaction to having the software installed and
in production took less than 15 business days.

A connection a day, here we come.

Major Pharma Federates in 27 Days from Start to Finish

August 02, 2007 By: Andre Category: Identity

One of our customers, a major pharmaceutical company, successfully went into production with SAML-based single sign-on just 27 days after contract signatures!

is an impressive timeline when you consider that this was an enterprise-grade deployment between two companies and included the development and testing of a Custom PingFederate Integration Kit! 

The use case involves as many as 5000 employees of the pharmaceutical company
federating into an Idea
Management solution hosted by another SaaS vendor.  The solution includes 2 single connection
PingFederate servers on one side connecting to 2 single connection
PingFederate servers with the Service Provider (the 2 servers are for redundancy). Note that both sides were not required to use PingFederate, and either side could have used any SAML compliant
product. It just so happened in this case speed of deployment was a
major consideration, and after careful analysis, both parties
appreciated how only PingFederate could be installed and integrated in such short

The pharmaceutical company (acting
as the identity provider for their employees) is using the LDAP
Authentication Service to enable first mile integration.  The service
provider in this use-case had a requirement for a Lotus Domino
integration kit.  Ping Identity also provided a PingEnable Fderation
QuickStart bundle for shared implementation services and training
between the two federation partners.