Invalid Traffic is bot activity on a website.
Usually, IVT consists of impressions and clicks generated by publishers themselves on ads placed on their sites. Automated tools are used to create false ad impressions and engage with ads. This bot traffic also spams websites to steal user data amongst other malicious activities.
Although IVT can include good bots such as search engine crawlers, IVT is mostly used to refer to malicious and fraudulent bots.
There are two types of IVT:
General Invalid Traffic
General invalid traffic is a group of IVT that is generally straightforward to identify. The activity can be quickly recognised as being automated and may occur as a continuous “low hum” of activity on many websites.
Sophisticated Invalid Traffic
Sophisticated invalid traffic accounts for the intelligent and intentional capability of an attacker to circumvent measures put in place to prevent threats such as ad fraud. SIVT aims to blend in with human activity using a range of means such as large-scale browser automation, cookie theft and session hijacking.