These Android Apps Clicked On Ads Behind Users’ Back

Har Devarukhkar - Sep 07, 2019

These Android Apps Clicked On Ads Behind Users’ Back

These Android apps, which clicked on ads without users’ permission, had over 1.5 million users and stayed on the Google Play Store for nearly a year.

According to security researchers, there is a fitness and a notepad application installed more than one million times which have been clicking on advertisements secretly without users’ permission for almost a year.

Android apps of Idea Master clicked on ads behind your back

These Android apps, which were developed by Idea Master, provided people with weight loss and life organizing tools. However, in fact, they were popping up advertisements off-screen then clicking on those ads several times in a day, according to a Thursday statement by Symantec cybersecurity researchers.

Idea Master did not immediately give any comment. Since the developer has been banned on Google Play Store – the platform for apps on Android devices, both two applications have been deleted.

One of the two malicious apps

These apps’ names were as in these images. As of August 23, the two apps were downloaded by over 1.5 million users.

Because of the open ecosystem of Android, Google has been struggling to keep adware as well as malware off the Play Store, especially in comparison with the App Store of Apple. Android lets you do more, but also expose you to more risks. The security program of Android has fixed problems with over one million applications in its Play Store over the last five years. Nevertheless, new attackers keep popping up with various ways to hide on users’ devices.

Both of these apps were removed

The advertisement fraud which took place on the apps of Idea Master was not noticed for a long time. The researchers said that the reason was its hidden code in Android packers which were typically used to protect intellectual property.

As soon as these apps are installed, they’ll show the advertisements outside the display view of the device and automatically click on the ads, which commits advertisement fraud and drains resources from the device. These advertisements take up the phone’s battery life as well as mobile data usage without the user recognizing it.

Before the advertisement fraud was discovered by the security researchers, some users downloading these applications noticed and expressed their concerns in the reviews section of these apps. There was a review from Aug 5th saying that the notes app was helpful, however, it had so many ads that the device was being slowed down.

Besides, the ads were called irritating and disruptive in another review and they were the ads which Android users saw.

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