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8 Popular Android Apps Caught Up In Million-Dollar Ad Fraud Scheme

8 Popular Android Apps Caught Up In Million-Dollar Ad Fraud Scheme

November 27, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Cheetah Mobile —a prominent Chinese app company, known for its popular utility apps like Clean Master and Battery Doctor—and one of its subsidiary Kika Tech have allegedly been caught up in an Android ad fraud scheme that stole millions of dollars from advertisers. According to app analytics firm Kochava , 7 Android apps developed by Cheetah Mobile and 1 from Kika Tech with a total 2 billion downloads on Google Play Store have been accused of falsely claiming the credits for driving the installation of new apps in order to claim a fee or bounty. Many mobile application developers generate revenue by promoting and recommending the installation of other apps inside their apps for a fee or a bounty that typically ranges from $0.50 to $3.00. To know which advertisement recommended the app and should get the credit, the newly installed app does a "lookback" immediately after it is opened for the first time to see from where the last click was originated and attribute the
Pre-Installed Malware Found On 5 Million Popular Android Phones

Pre-Installed Malware Found On 5 Million Popular Android Phones

March 15, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers have discovered a massive continuously growing malware campaign that has already infected nearly 5 million mobile devices worldwide. Dubbed RottenSys , the malware that disguised as a 'System Wi-Fi service' app came pre-installed on millions of brand new smartphones manufactured by Honor, Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO, Vivo, Samsung and GIONEE—added somewhere along the supply chain. All these affected devices were shipped through Tian Pai, a Hangzhou-based mobile phone distributor, but researchers are not sure if the company has direct involvement in this campaign. According to Check Point Mobile Security Team, who uncovered this campaign, RottenSys is an advanced piece of malware that doesn't provide any secure Wi-Fi related service but takes almost all sensitive Android permissions to enable its malicious activities. "According to our findings, the RottenSys malware began propagating in September 2016. By March 12, 2018, 4,964,460 devices were
Over 500 Android Apps On Google Play Store Found Spying On 100 Million Users

Over 500 Android Apps On Google Play Store Found Spying On 100 Million Users

August 23, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Over 500 different Android apps that have been downloaded more than 100 million times from the official Google Play Store found to be infected with a malicious ad library that secretly distributes spyware to users and can perform dangerous operations. Since 90 per cent of Android apps is free to download from Google Play Store, advertising is a key revenue source for app developers. For this, they integrate Android SDK Ads library in their apps, which usually does not affect an app's core functionality. But security researchers at mobile security firm Lookout have discovered a software development kit (SDK), dubbed Igexin, that has been found delivering spyware on Android devices. Developed by a Chinese company to offer targeted advertising services to app developers, the rogue 'Igexin' advertising software was spotted in more than 500 apps on Google's official marketplace, most of which included: Games targeted at teens with as many as 100 million download
Judy Android Malware Infects Over 36.5 Million Google Play Store Users

Judy Android Malware Infects Over 36.5 Million Google Play Store Users

May 29, 2017Mohit Kumar
Security researchers have claimed to have discovered possibly the largest malware campaign on Google Play Store that has already infected around 36.5 million Android devices with malicious ad-click software. The security firm Checkpoint on Thursday published a blog post revealing more than 41 Android applications from a Korean company on Google Play Store that make money for its creators by creating fake advertisement clicks from the infected devices. All the malicious apps, developed by Korea-based Kiniwini and published under the moniker ENISTUDIO Corp, contained an adware program, dubbed Judy, that is being used to generate fraudulent clicks to generate revenue from advertisements. Moreover, the researchers also uncovered a few more apps, published by other developers on Play Store, inexplicably containing the same the malware in them. The connection between the two campaigns remains unclear, though researchers believe it is possible that one developer borrowed code from
Google Kicks Out Largest Android Adware Family From The Play Store

Google Kicks Out Largest Android Adware Family From The Play Store

March 14, 2017Swati Khandelwal
With the rise in the mobile market, Adware has become one of the most prevalent mobile threats in the world. Adware has traditionally been used to aggressively push ads like banners or pop-ups on mobile screens to make money. The troublesome part is that Adware is now becoming trojanized and more sophisticated, as it aggressively collects personal data from the mobile device it's installed on, including name, birth date, location, serial number, contacts, and browser data without users' consent. However, the risk is a bit higher on Android than other platforms because of the extra permissions that apps enjoy. Although Google has stepped up its efforts to remove potentially harmful apps from its Play Store in the past years and added more stringent malware checks for new apps, Adware app eventually finds its way into its mobile app marketplace to target millions of Android users. In its recent efforts to make its Play Store ecosystem safe, Google has recently discover
Nasty Android Malware that Infected Millions Returns to Google Play Store

Nasty Android Malware that Infected Millions Returns to Google Play Store

January 24, 2017Swati Khandelwal
HummingBad – an Android-based malware that infected over 10 million Android devices around the world last year and made its gang an estimated US$300,000 per month at its peak – has made a comeback. Security researchers have discovered a new variant of the HummingBad malware hiding in more than 20 Android apps on Google Play Store. The infected apps were already downloaded by over 12 Million unsuspecting users before the Google Security team removed them from the Play Store. Dubbed HummingWhale by researchers at security firm Check Point, the new malware utilizes new, cutting-edge techniques that allow the nasty software to conduct Ad fraud better than ever before and generate revenue for its developers. The Check Point researchers said the HummingWhale-infected apps had been published under the name of fake Chinese developers on the Play Store with common name structure, com.[name].camera, but with suspicious startup behaviors. "It registered several events on boot,
This Malware Can Secretly Auto-Install any Android App to Your Phone

This Malware Can Secretly Auto-Install any Android App to Your Phone

November 20, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Own an Android Smartphone? Hackers can install any malicious third-party app on your smartphone remotely even if you have clearly tapped a reject button of the app. Security researchers have uncovered a trojanized adware family that has the capability to automatically install any app on an Android device by abusing the operating system's accessibility features. Michael Bentley , head of response at mobile security firm Lookout, warned in a blog post published Thursday that the team has found three adware families: Shedun (GhostPush) Kemoge (ShiftyBug) Shuanet Also Read:  Android Malware Can Spy On You Even When Your Mobile Is Off All the three adware families root-infect Android devices in order to prevent their removal and give attackers unrestricted access to the devices. But, it seems that the Shedun adware family has capabilities that go beyond the reach of other adware families. The Malware Doesn't Exploit Any Vulnerability It is
How Some Chinese Hackers Started Making Big Money

How Some Chinese Hackers Started Making Big Money

October 13, 2015Khyati Jain
We know that Hackers hack for a variety of reasons: ...some hack to test their skills, …some hack to gain recognition, ...some hack to make money, ...some hack to support their Nation-State strategy, ...and, some hack alone, and some hack in Groups. And Chinese Hackers are the ones who are infamous for their dedication towards Hacking. Chinese hacking groups are better known for attacking and stealing information, organized cyber crimes, theft of intellectual property and state-sponsored cyber espionage attacks. But it seems that several Chinese hacker groups have now shifted their motive of hacking towards ‘ making money ’. How much Money Hackers Actually Make? It is a known fact that hacking makes money, but how much? Answer: At least $4,500,000/year   from one malware campaign. How? We often observe mobile and desktop applications bundled with Ad-displaying programs, called Adware, to generate revenue. Just last week we reported abou
Xiaomi Mi 4 Smartphone Pre-loaded with Malware and Custom Android ROM

Xiaomi Mi 4 Smartphone Pre-loaded with Malware and Custom Android ROM

March 07, 2015Wang Wei
Once again the very popular and the world's third largest smartphone distributor Xiaomi , which had previously been criticized for secretly stealing users’ information from the device without the user's permissions, has been found spreading malware . The top selling Android smartphone in China, Xiaomi Mi4 LTE , has been found to be shipped with pre-loaded spyware/adware and a "forked," or not certified, vulnerable version of Android operating system on top of that, according to a San Francisco-based mobile-security company, Bluebox. Xiaomi, which is also known as Apple of China, provides an affordable and in-budget smartphones with almost all features that an excellent smartphone provides. Just like other Xiaomi devices, Mi4 LTE smartphone seems to attract a large number of customers with more than 25,000 units sold out in just 15 seconds on India’s online retailer Flipkart . Security Researcher Andrew Blaich of Bluebox firm revealed Thursday that the brand new
Adware Android Apps Found in Google Play With Millions of Downloads

Adware Android Apps Found in Google Play With Millions of Downloads

February 04, 2015Swati Khandelwal
With the rise in mobile market, last year we have seen sharp growth in malicious ' adware ' — the most prevalent mobile threat in the world. And now, security researchers have once again found Google Play Store offering malicious apps that are infecting millions of Android users with adware . It’s not at all surprising that the Android operating system is surrounded by a number of unwanted intrusions that may gain users’ attention to fall victim for one, but this issue might be even worse than we thought. WHAT IS ADWARE ? For those not familiar with adware, adware is a software that automatically displays or downloads advertising material like banners or pop-ups when a user is online. Doesn’t sound dangerous, Right? But adware could result in a serious threat to users. Android Adware can pose a major threat to users' privacy, since some ad networks gather personal information like phone number, email address, and many more. Depending on where the ad netwo
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