When Google announced its latest push to curb click-baiting ads in April, it touted that the effort was being led by AdSense.
In the past few months, however, AdSense has been in the news a lot.
On Thursday, the company revealed that it had been hacked by a group that claims responsibility for the breach.
The attack, which occurred at AdSense’s website and affected all users on its platform, has now been revealed to be a “botnet” designed to steal users’ information.
It has been dubbed the “OjoClickBot” by Google, and the attack, in turn, was led by the Russian-based CyberBerkut, or Cozy Bear.
A quick recap: CyberBorkut hacked Google’s AdSense system in late April and stole users’ personal information including their email addresses, passwords, credit card numbers, and other personal data, as well as links to third-party websites and apps that were not part of Google’s ad platform.
The group also stole the user’s passwords and credit card information, as revealed in a statement from AdSense in April.
The hack also exposed users’ private information, including their Google login and email addresses.
The hacker, who goes by the name “Ojoo”, claimed responsibility for all of this, and claimed to have been able to steal the personal information of thousands of people.
The company has since taken the threat seriously, but has not released any information about the attackers who have been responsible for the hack.
In a statement on Thursday, Google said that it “continues to closely monitor the cyberattack and will be working with law enforcement to investigate the incident.”
However, the statement did not address why it took so long to alert Google.
In April, Adsense reported that the number of users affected by the hack had jumped by more than half, from 4.4 million in April to 4.7 million in June.
“This is an unprecedented number of people affected, which we can only assume was the result of a botnet attack, but the botnet has not been compromised,” AdSense CEO Michael Hart said at the time.
Google is currently looking into the hack, and will “take appropriate action when we learn more about the attack,” the company added.
The cyberattack may have been a surprise for AdSense, which has traditionally been viewed as a “click-batteries” platform, as the company was used by many advertisers to sell their targeted ads.
But the company says that its business model has evolved since the breach, and that it now serves more than a billion ads daily on its network.
“In our industry, AdWords is the gold standard of click-through rates,” the AdSense team wrote in a blog post in April about its business.
“We are committed to being a reliable click-revenue generator, and we have never lost sight of our mission of helping advertisers find and engage with their customers, as AdSense is known for.”