Affiliate link hijacking is the process by which an affiliate ID is removed from an affiliate link for depriving the affiliate of his commission. There are two types of affiliate link hijacking.
The first is used by well organized and competent fraudsters. They develop and diffuse malwares which, once installed on user computers automatically rewrites affiliate links on visited pages without users knowing. The legitimate affiliate ID is replaced by the fraudster ID which then takes credit for the sale or lead. This latter has been registered before on many affiliate programs.
This form of hijacking has been widely publicized a few years ago, but we believe it is now very rare as protections have been developed.
The second form is more an individual action and less criminal. Some web users don’t want to see affiliates earn commission and remove affiliate ID before pasting the link in their browser bar. Some may also paste their own affiliate ID.
For preventing link hijacking, professional affiliates use affiliate link cloaking.