Fuse Networks Blog

Google Play Works to Reduce Ad-Fraud

Google Play Works to Reduce Ad-Fraud

What’s a smartphone without some apps to download to it? With millions of apps to choose from, developers might often have less-than-virtuous motives that put their users at risk for their own benefit. Recently, Google has removed 22 apps from the Google Play Store that were found to contain automated click-fraud scripts. We’ll delve into what these developers were up to with these fraudulent applications, as well as how they would affect the two-million users that downloaded them.

What Are the Apps?
Below you’ll find a list of what the affected apps are:

  • Sparkle FlashLight
  • Snake Attack
  • Math Solver
  • ShapeSorter
  • Tak A Trip
  • Magnifeye
  • Join Up
  • Zombie Killer
  • Space Rocket
  • Neon Pong
  • Just Flashlight
  • Table Soccer
  • Cliff Diver
  • Box Stack
  • Jelly Slice
  • AK Blackjack
  • Color Tiles
  • Animal Match
  • Roulette Mania
  • HexaFall
  • HexaBlocks
  • PairZap

What Was Wrong with Them?
SophosLabs detected a cache of apps that are outfitted with a feature they call “Andr/Clickr-ad” malware. These applications are designed to be as flexible as possible with the intention of contacting a common attacker-controller server to download an ad-fraud module. This happens every 80 seconds. The malware opens up a non-visible window that repeatedly clicks on ads. This makes the network look like it’s getting more traffic and generates fraudulent revenue for the developer.

Sophos didn’t identify a specific ad network, but the users who had downloaded these apps experienced a considerable amount of battery drain and an increase in data usage. One interesting note is that some of the ad traffic was identified as coming from iPhones, even though these apps generally only appear on Android devices. The traffic came from “Apple models ranging from iPhone 5 to 8 Plus and from 249 different forged models from 33 distinct brands of Android phones.” This kind of strategy was used to increase profits for advertisers who had to pay a premium for their ads to run on Apple devices. iOS versions of the apps, even those by the same developers, didn’t have malicious code integrated.

Only Download Legitimate Applications
One way to make sure you don’t have troubles with your downloaded apps is to make sure you only download legitimate applications. Here are some ways to determine if the app you want is legitimate:

  • Read a lot of reviews: You can find out a lot about applications just by reading some of the reviews. Try to read eight or more reviews to make sure that the app is as functional as you think it is.
  • Check the app permissions: Some applications need your permission in order to accomplish certain tasks. Always check these permissions before downloading anything. For example, if an application needs access to your text messages or camera, when it clearly shouldn’t be asking for them, you should think twice before downloading.
  • Check the terms and conditions: It might be tempting to skip the terms and conditions, but you don’t want to do this for smartphone apps. Even if you try to read them, the legal language used might be unnerving. Still, the terms and conditions might hold some insights into how the data collected by the application is used.
  • Research the developer: Software development is a competitive field, so people are always looking for ways to differentiate themselves and further their ambitions. Unfortunately, ambition doesn’t always lead to ethical business practices. Do some research into who developed the applications and determine if you can trust who created the tool you’re about to download.

The Google Play Store holds countless applications, so be on the lookout for any apps that threaten your device’s integrity. Just stick to your best practices and it’s unlikely that you’ll encounter and download something dangerous. To learn more about this kind of mobile device security, reach out to Fuse Networks at 855-GET-FUSE (438-3873).

A Hosted VoIP System Comes with Real Benefits
Tip of the Week: Neat Windows 10 Features
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Tuesday, March 19 2019

Captcha Image

Newsletter Sign Up

  • No-Spam Guarantee: We hate spam as much or more than you do and will NEVER rent, share or give your information away to anyone else. We will only use your information to communicate with you direct, and you can also remove yourself from our list at any time with a simple click..
  • Company Name *
  • First Name *
  • Last Name *

      Mobile? Grab this Article!

      QR-Code dieser Seite

      Tag Cloud

      Security Tip of the Week Technology Best Practices Tech Term Network Security Business Computing Hackers Privacy Innovation Data Backup Productivity Android Cybersecurity Collaboration Software IT Support User Tips Data recovery Computer Data Communications Efficiency Google Email Communication IT Services Mobile Device Malware Internet Business Management Small Business Office 365 Hardware VoIP Mobile Devices Smartphone Hosted Solutions Cloud Managed Service Phishing Microsoft Office Blockchain Browser Information Cybercrime Backup Cost Management Social Media Smartphones Applications Facebook Artificial Intelligence Access Control Business Technology Apps Cloud Computing Automation Maintenance Windows 10 Saving Money Internet of Things Vulnerability Ransomware Business Workplace Tips Vulnerabilities Scam Mobile Device Management Two-factor Authentication Data Security BDR Passwords Holiday Tech Terms Document Management Quick Tips Bitcoin Network Mobility App Managed IT services Data Breach Apple Outsourced IT Alert Saving Time Patch Management Users Cooperation Printer IT Management Disaster Recovery Conferencing Google Maps Social Engineering Hacking Remote Monitoring Update Data loss Vendor Gmail Healthcare Bandwidth Microsoft Augmented Reality Websites BYOD Data Analysis Networking Compliance Tactics Electronic Medical Records Modem Desktop Cleaning CIO Microsoft 365 email scam HTML Backup and Disaster Recovery Error Term News Mobile Technology Legislation Trends Cortana Television Navigation project management Piracy Training WiFi Productivity Vendor Management Professional Services Digital Multi-factor Authentication Computers Business Continuity Google Docs Gadgets Budget Fileless Malware Business Cards Regulations Addiction Managed Service Provider Unified Communications User Tip SSID Bookmark eWaste VPN Twitter Telephone Audit Google Play Fake News Virtual Reality Gamification Disaster Screen Reader Mouse Money Software License Equifax Service Level Agreement Big Data Voice over Internet Protocol Virtual Assistant Device security Nanotechnology Directions Printing Website Excel Antivirus Browsers Robot Data Protection Social Network Miscellaneous Health IT Security Cameras Microsoft Excel Company Culture Emails Emergency Monitoring Evernote Startup Going Green NCSAM iPhone Operating System Travel Cost Machine Learning Government Analytics Medical IT Tip of the week Spam Paperless Office Customer Resource management Computer Care Social Identity Theft Bluetooth Retail Hard Drive Management Distributed Denial of Service Information Technology Download Virtualization Windows 10 IT Username Comparison Microchip Network Management Legal Proxy Server Data Management Managed IT Services Mobile Security Knowledge Google Calendar Entertainment Computing Infrastructure Devices Database Telephone System Sports Router Cryptocurrency Laptop Wireless Headphones Content Support Windows 7 Hard Drive Disposal Chromebook Computing Tech Freedom of Information Upload Server Downloads Fuse Networks Specifications Processor SharePoint Downtime Accountants Encryption Law Enforcement Help Desk PowerPoint Tech Support Wireless Technology 5G IBM Safety Marketing Hacker The Internet of Things Customer Relationship Management Solutions Competition Regulation IP Address Hiring/Firing Printers Customer Service Integration Fun Mobile Office Employer-Employee Relationship Upgrade Domains Wireless Managing Stress Multi-Factor Security Hard Drives Public Speaking Search Presentation Wi-Fi Lithium-ion battery