ClickGuard: Exposing Hidden Click Fraud via Mobile Sensor Side-channel Analysis

Congcong Shi, Rui Song, Xinyu Qi, Yubo Song, Bin Xiao, Sanglu Lu

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


Advertising income depends on the amount of clicks by users of websites and mobile applications. However, the emergence of click fraud greatly reduces the real benefits of the advertisement. Most existing researches focus on detecting click fraud by analyzing properties and patterns of click data streams, but attackers can construct data that looks legitimate by replaying former data streams. In this paper, we propose a novel system called ClickGuard to detect click fraud attacks. ClickGuard takes advantage of motion sensor signals from mobile devices, since the pattern of motion signals is completely different under real click events and fraud events. To prevent attackers from bypassing the system by faking the time-domain statistical characteristics of original signals, we introduce the MFCC algorithm in feature extraction phase. MFCC algorithm can extract frequency-domain features of original signals in specific frequency bands which are hardly constructed out of thin air. Classifiers are finally constructed using these features and several machine learning algorithms. Experiments show that ClickGuard can achieve the accuracy of 96.71% in general environment and 84.16% when attackers modify the time-domain statistical characteristics of raw data.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2020 IEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2020 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781728150895
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020
Event2020 IEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2020 - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 7 Jun 202011 Jun 2020

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Communications
ISSN (Print)1550-3607


Conference2020 IEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2020


  • Click Fraud
  • MFCC
  • Motion Sensor Signals
  • Side-channel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this