Google Suspends Several Apps After Release Of In-App Fraud Report
Forensiq study detailed ways malicious app developers have adopted fraud tactics seen in display advertising.
The report highlighted the migration of the ongoing battle in display advertising to the apps ecosystem. Published by ad monitoring firm Forensiq, the study described several ways the company observed malicious apps defrauding advertisers and draining users’ smartphone data plans and batteries. Chief among the tactics seen was apps running constantly in the background, endlessly serving ads in high volume throughout the day. Forensiq estimated the annual loss to advertisers as the result of malicious apps could approach $1 billion globally this year.
Ad Age says it tried to contact the makers of two apps that have been suspended — Celebrity Baby and Vampire Doctor — but that the email addresses listed in the Play store were invalid. A Google spokesperson confirmed the removal of several apps but did not comment on the Forensiq report or provide additional details.
While the instances of malicious activity detected in Android apps was highest, Forensiq also found similar activity on iOS and Windows Phone apps. Below is the breakdown of the levels of fraud Forensiq observed by platform. We have contacted Apple and Microsoft and will update here when and if we get a response.
Update: A Microsoft spokesperson said, “We take app advertising fraud very seriously and will not hesitate to remove apps or suspend accounts. We encourage anyone who is concerned about an app to contact us at email@example.com“