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Author Topic: Google Just Killed What Might Be The Biggest Android Ad Fraud Ever  (Read 511 times)

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Offline perknh

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Google Just Killed What Might Be The Biggest Android Ad Fraud Ever

By Thomas Fox-Brewster for Forbes

Quote
According to Android security expert Sergio de los Santos, Judy was symptomatic of a wider problem with such ad fraud targeting Google's platform. "This clicking malware hides very well. They have been undetected for years now, and even now anti-virus products are still not detecting them," said de los Santos, a researcher with Telefonica's ElevenPaths Android security team.

"The reason is because they are not dangerous by themselves in Google Play, but when they are installed they download the payload. This is very tricky and makes all detection techniques fail. And, besides, the only permission they need is access to the internet... it's quite intelligent."

https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2017/05/26/google-shuts-down-massive-ad-fraud-on-play-store/#2c8256ae7807
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Offline scifidude79

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Re: Google Just Killed What Might Be The Biggest Android Ad Fraud Ever
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2017, 10:23:32 am »
Ironically, that article about unwanted crap has an auto play video on it.  So, I left as quickly as I arrived. >:(

Offline perknh

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Re: Google Just Killed What Might Be The Biggest Android Ad Fraud Ever
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2017, 02:47:50 pm »
Here it is:

Google Just Killed What Might Be The Biggest Android Ad Fraud Ever


Thomas Fox-Brewster ,  FORBES STAFF
I cover crime, privacy and security in digital and physical forms. 

Google has thrown more than 40 apps out of its Play store after it emerged they were quietly forcing Android users to click on ads. As the apps been downloaded as many as 36 million times, security researchers said it appeared to be the biggest ever case of ad fraud perpetrated via Google Play and probably the most successful malware in terms of installs from the official store.

Security firm Check Point revealed the campaign Thursday, claiming a South Korean company, Kiniwini, hid an illegitimate ad clicking function inside 41 apps, most of which were games. Google's Bouncer, a technology designed to keep such so-called "adware" out of its store, wasn't able to pick up on the feature as it was downloaded after installation.

Once the rogue code was added to the apps, they would secretly open webpages in the background, via software that imitated a PC browser. "Once the targeted website is launched, the malware uses the JavaScript code to locate and click on banners from the Google ads infrastructure," Check Point explained. The Korean company would then receive funds for every ad click. Check Point estimated the firm was making millions from the ad clicks, in the region of $300,000 per month.

Check Point also noted that various Kiniwini apps would display "a large amount of advertisements, which in some cases leave users with no option but clicking on the ad itself." And it claimed the oldest version of the malware, which it dubbed "Judy", dated from April 2016, indicating it avoided detection for at least a year.

Android app adware found by Check Point Check Point
Check Point claims adware was hidden by South Korean developers inside more than 40 Android apps.

Kiniwini, which also goes by the name ENISTUDIO corp, did not return requests for comment. A post from May 21st on the company's website recognized Google's action to remove the apps. It does not address the allegations made by Check Point or the reason behind the apps' disappearance from Google Play.

And this article from Check Point itself:

http://blog.checkpoint.com/2017/05/25/judy-malware-possibly-largest-malware-campaign-found-google-play/
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Offline perknh

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Re: Google Just Killed What Might Be The Biggest Android Ad Fraud Ever
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2017, 01:04:52 pm »
@PCNetSpec

Ironically, that article about unwanted crap has an auto play video on it.  So, I left as quickly as I arrived. >:(

PCNetSpec, I did not experience autoplay as scifidude79 did in this tread with this link?  But should the topic be pulled?  And how big of a deal is autoplay?  I ask because, although I didn't experience it here myself, I'm also experiencing it more and more in general these days.

Needless to say, I trusted Forbes, or I wouldn't have posted.  I'm becoming a little leery of posting links these days because I never know what experience somebody else might have.  You know, most of these links are still http, so I'm not sure how I should approach future links. :-\

@scifidude79 

Sorry for any distress I may have caused, scifidude79.  That was not my intention here at all. :(


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Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Google Just Killed What Might Be The Biggest Android Ad Fraud Ever
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2017, 01:17:42 pm »
I think scifidude meant the video top left in the "your reading list".

I can see no reason to pull the topic perknh, it's 'probably' a trustable site (as far as they can be) and it's down to user discretion how to set up their browser .. I mean I trust you wouldn't intentionally post links to something you KNEW to be malicious, and it's neither your or our job to police/censor the web ;)

Even if someone did attempt to police all their postings it would be impossible, because a link you post today can have totally different content tomorrow unless you control the page.
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Offline perknh

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Re: Google Just Killed What Might Be The Biggest Android Ad Fraud Ever
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2017, 01:32:15 pm »
I think scifidude meant the video top left in the "your reading list".

It must be the way my browser is set up --with Privacy Badger and uBlock Origin-- because I don't see anything but articles when I look around. I don't block ads or enable privacy with uBlock Origin either.  I just use uBlock Origin's own filters, along with blocking malware domains and enabling Peter Lowe’s Ad and tracking server list. (Of course, I ALWAYS whitelist Peppermint. ;) )

Two people, same site, different experience.  Good grief! ???

Thank you, PCNetSpec.
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Offline perknh

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Re: Google Just Killed What Might Be The Biggest Android Ad Fraud Ever
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2017, 10:24:32 am »
Ironically, that article about unwanted crap has an auto play video on it.  So, I left as quickly as I arrived. >:(

Good news here, scifidude79! :)

SO LONG, AUTO-PLAY —
Google Chrome will block autoplay video starting January 2018


By MARK WALTON, Consumer Editor at Ars Technica UK.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/09/google-chrome-block-auto-play-video/
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Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Google Just Killed What Might Be The Biggest Android Ad Fraud Ever
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2017, 10:33:23 am »
Thank god for that .. it'll be interesting to see if they stop autoplay on Youtube too (or videos on other sites that carry links to their adverts), or if it only applies to everyone else.

This bit bothers me a bit

Quote
auto-play will only be allowed when the video in question is muted or when a "user has indicated an interest in the media."

The latter applies if the site has been added to the home screen on mobile or if the user has frequently played media on the site on desktop. Google also says auto-play will be allowed if the user has "tapped or clicked somewhere on the site during the browsing session."

So Google are now going to track and log which video you played on which sites ? .. okay they probably already do, but how will this work if you use some kind of anti tracking measures ? .. does this only work IF you allow Google to track you ?

I know, I'm such a cynic .. obviously there's nothing in this for Google, and they're only doing this out of the kindness of their hearts for your benefit .. trust Google to look after your annoying advert and unwanted content blocking ;)
« Last Edit: September 15, 2017, 10:43:09 am by PCNetSpec »
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Offline scifidude79

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Re: Google Just Killed What Might Be The Biggest Android Ad Fraud Ever
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2017, 10:48:20 am »
Google Analytics get to decided if you may like it?  ???  Screw that.  I just want an option in the settings panel to turn it on or off.  Is that so difficult?

Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Google Just Killed What Might Be The Biggest Android Ad Fraud Ever
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2017, 10:54:35 am »
You'd think....

[EDIT]

Does Chrome/Chromium not have an equivalent to Firefoxs toggling "media.autoplay.enable" to "false" in "about:config" ?
« Last Edit: September 15, 2017, 11:13:09 am by PCNetSpec »
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Offline murraymint

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Re: Google Just Killed What Might Be The Biggest Android Ad Fraud Ever
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2017, 11:10:11 am »
It's the auto-redirect on YouTube that bugs me most of the time. Why do they need a cookie to block it from taking you through some random playlist by default?

Offline perknh

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Re: Google Just Killed What Might Be The Biggest Android Ad Fraud Ever
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2017, 11:13:48 am »
Of course, even if it's not perfect, Google gets more users with this feature --which means more data and more revenue for Alphabet Inc.  Chrome is also planning to warn users of 'man in the middle attacks.'  You can read about that here if you're interested. 

In my opinion Chromium/Chrome just keeps getting better and better.  I'm so happy that Peppermint has Chromium as its default browser.  It's gotten better and better over the years that I've used it. ;)
« Last Edit: September 15, 2017, 06:28:19 pm by perknh »
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Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Google Just Killed What Might Be The Biggest Android Ad Fraud Ever
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2017, 11:15:11 am »
You'll probably be upset if/when we switch back to FF then :))
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Re: Google Just Killed What Might Be The Biggest Android Ad Fraud Ever
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2017, 05:08:49 pm »
Just use this... https://goo.gl/Fvz5oB   :D

Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Google Just Killed What Might Be The Biggest Android Ad Fraud Ever
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2017, 06:57:15 pm »
Who was it that once laughed that FF needed plugins to achieve things Chromium (and derivatives) did OOTB :P

Yep, I opened the door and you walked right in :))
« Last Edit: September 15, 2017, 07:15:07 pm by PCNetSpec »
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