Researchers said that advice from a child prompted them to discover aggressive adware and exorbitant prices lurking in iOS and Android smartphone apps, with a combined total of 2.4 million downloads from the App Store and Google Play.
Some fraud apps were presented as entertainment, background images or music downloading apps, and were displaying intrusive ads even when the app was not active, and to prevent users from uninstalling them, the apps had hidden their icon making it difficult to determine the source of the ads. The cost of the applications ranges from $ 2 to $ 10 and generated more than $ 500,000 in revenue, according to estimates by (SensorTower), Which is an intelligence service for smartphone applications.
The apps appeared after a girl found a TikTok profile promoting what appeared to be an offensive app and reported (Be Safe OnlineBased on advice, researchers from the safety company Avast 11 found apps for iOS and Android devices that participated in similar scams.
Several fraud apps were promoted by one of three TikTok users, one of whom had over 300,000 followers, and one of the users on Instagram was promoting the apps as well.
Jacob Vavra, threat analyst said In (Avast) in a statementWe thank the girl who informed us about the TikTok profile, her awareness and responsible work is the kind of commitment we must all show to make the online world a safer place.
Experts at Avast said that fraudulent apps made misleading claims about app functionality, displayed ads outside of the app, or hidden the app’s original icon shortly after installing an app, all of which violated the app marketplace’s terms of service.
(Avast) said it particularly notified Apple and Google about the behavior of the applications, and also alerted both TikTok and Instagram to accounts performing promotions for fraudulent applications.
A spokesman said Google The company has removed the apps, and web searches seem to confirm this, and it appears that many iOS apps were still available in the app store while preparing this post. Apple and TikTok representatives did not have any comment on this post, and Facebook representatives did not respond to a request for comment.
Android users are now well aware of Google Play apps that offer completely malicious apps or perform unethical actions such as serving a torrent of ads, often without an easy way to curb the deluge. In contrast, offensive apps from the App Store appear much less often, and that doesn’t mean that these iOS apps were never encountered.
Last month, researchers discovered more than 1,200 iPhone and iPad apps that were spying on URL requests from users within the app, and this violated the App Store’s terms of service, and by using the developer group to display ads, the apps also forged click notifications to give an appearance. Wrong that the advertisement the user saw came from an ad network controlled by the application, even when this was not the case, and this behavior also allowed the SDK developers to steal the revenue that was supposed to go to other ad networks.