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Google Play Store Apps With Ad Click Malware Downloaded 36.5 Million Times

     
9:29 pm on May 30, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Google Play Store game apps with a link to ad click malware have been downloaded as much as 36.5 million times, according to researchers.
The apps got past the Play Store's protection system, Google Bouncer, because they do not contain the malicious part of the Judy code.

Once downloaded, the apps silently register the device to a remote server, which responds by sending back the malicious ad-click software to open a hidden website and generate revenue for the site by clicking on the adverts.Google Play Store Apps With Ad Click Malware Downloaded 36.5 Million Times [bbc.co.uk]
10:30 pm on May 30, 2017 (gmt 0)

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...the apps silently register the device to a remote server
Only if the phone doesn't have Lookout (or some other security feature) installed. Lookout Anti-virus/Malware app blocks unauthorized remote connections. The basic version of Lookout is free.
8:20 am on May 31, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I doubt most users give much thought to antivirus/antimalware for their phones.

The more these horror stories are publicised the greater the chances of the general public realising there's a potential problem, and this one is a nasty one.

For advertisers it's theft.
8:59 am on May 31, 2017 (gmt 0)

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You're correct that most phone users probably don't consider security software as necessary.

I on the other hand (ha) certainly do since I paid more for my phone than my desktop computer or my 4k TV; justifiable since I use it more.

So far no viruses or malware.

This must be embarrassing for Google Play since their rep is safe apps.
1:26 pm on May 31, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Security? on Phones? why would Apple and Google and FB want that? They want to record your every move.

I wish people came up with a browser or a version of Adware plugin for phones. A long time ago. Because it's due.

Number one malware is probably Facebook -Instagram-Snapchat that writes to a lot of databases. (I am hearing ad hominems, "those are not databases")
7:59 pm on May 31, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I wish people came up with a browser or a version of Adware plugin for phones.
There have been for quite a while. Just look around your app store. They work on mobile browsers surfing sites with ads, however ads served from apps cannot be removed.
8:57 pm on May 31, 2017 (gmt 0)

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So if an AdSense publisher is getting fraudulent clicks through this method, how in the world we ever track the source?
9:41 pm on May 31, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@azlinda - If your account is getting fraudulent clicks, be sure Google will catch it. However, since Google announced they have removed the offending apps from Google Play, that issue is known and shouldn't be a problem for your account; not to say that similar click-fraud isn't always a problem.
3:55 am on June 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Thank you, keyplyr+. I appreciate it.
4:30 am on June 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'm just keyplyr... keyplyr+ is my older brother.
2:36 pm on June 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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>> So if an AdSense publisher is getting fraudulent clicks through this method

You disable mobile ads.

Mobile users are so easy to spoof, that unless you are promoting mobile downloads or some adult/gambling stuff...or games... or unless your site is mobile and you get TRACKBLE conversions from ads on mobile... or unless you have investor money to burn... there's typically no ROI in running ads on mobile. But of course, YMMV so do your own testing.

Why do you think Google and FB are advertising mobile everywhere, even in every call from every new Adwords team member i get? Because they make a killing on mobile and it's very hard to trace to actual people. And our new front end story today is that over 50% of web traffic is now bots, again.

[edited by: smilie at 2:38 pm (utc) on Jun 1, 2017]

2:37 pm on June 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@keyplur, I checked and downloaded several adblockers, none of them work on removing ads in browser, at least I could not figure out how to make them to and I use phone brief enough that I don't care to read the manual. If they couldn't make it intuitive enough , they are failing on their user base which is not me.
2:53 pm on June 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Let me comment more on mobile.

People get vertigo and serious headaches when spending more than 1-2 hours per day on mobile.
Moreover, that crazy endless scrolling created more people with vertigo that have now health problems that you can possibly imagine.

While one can work 8 hours per day on desktop, one can only spend 1-2 hours on mobile device - I am talking about phone, not ipads. And even there it's in spurs, on-off. I'd expect that to create a zombie-like effect.

All this hoopla that mobile is going to be the next since sliced bread - no it isn't because as people switch to mobile yes, they get off desktops maybe. But they can only browse 1/4 of the time. The other 3/4 it is either back to desktop or do other, non-internet related activities.
(actually I am laughing at how restrictive current ipad mini I'm using to test something is, it's CRAZY and completely blocks functions I need periodically and randomly , with login restrictions and other socialist sh*t as if I did not pay for it - what a useless product).

This is significantly affecting 200+ mobile unicorns that have high projections... 3/4 of which are going to be out of business in 5 years. Because you can't read information of a mobile phone long-term.
7:52 pm on June 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Smilie, while you're certainly entitled to your opinions, the stats do not support it.

Mobile is becoming the dominant force on the web. Desktop is already the lesser of the two. People are just not buying new desktops for home use any longer. There's no need.

There continues to be desktop traffic from those at work, but most people just use their phones now for everyday use.

3 years ago it was determined that more searches were done on mobile devices than on desktop.
1:38 pm on June 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@keyplur, internet trends report on page 1 of our forum.

3% growth for mobile, with the trend heavily downward. With absolute majority of the growth in India and China. The last part is in the report.

There's no mobile growth anymore, the numbers are out.

[image.slidesharecdn.com...]

Maybe mobile is "the dominant force", yet there's no mobile growth in developed countries, it is also very hard to do mobile commerce as numerous sites failed to figure this one out in the last 10+ years.

Searches more on mobile? That part is entirely possible. But it's near impossible to monetize without some sort of complete breakdown of privacy (geo locating phones and sending geo-based advertising to them - I'd throw that phone into garbage bin and get the one that doesn't track-target me faster that you can say cheeese).

Why do you think games is all the rage? That's where the only real growth (and actually advertising innovation too) is right now.
 

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