Folex: An Analysis of an Herbal and Counterfeit Luxury Goods Affiliate Program presented at ecrime 2013

by Mohammad Karami, Shiva Ghaemi, Damon Mccoy.,

Summary : The profitability of the underground criminal business of counterfeit or unauthorized products is a major funding source that drives the illegal online advertisement industry. While it is clear that underground online affiliate-based programs are profitable for their owners, the precise business operations of such organizations are unknown to a large extent.
In this study, we present the results of our analysis of a replica and herbal supplements affiliate program based on leaked ground truth data. The dataset covers a period of over two years and includes more than $6 million in sale records for an affiliate program known as Tower of Power (TowPow) focusing on the herbal supplements and counterfeit luxury goods market. In this paper we provide a detailed empirical analysis of the participating affiliates, sales dynamics, revenue sharing, domain usage patterns and conversion rates.