Specialists Uncover 85 Apps with 13 Million Downloads Concerned in Advert Fraud Scheme

As many as 75 apps on Google Play and 10 on Apple App Retailer have been found participating in advert fraud as a part of an ongoing marketing campaign that commenced in 2019.

The newest iteration, dubbed Scylla by On-line fraud-prevention agency HUMAN Safety, follows comparable assault waves in August 2019 and late 2020 that go by the codename Poseidon and Charybdis, respectively.

Previous to their elimination from the app storefronts, the apps had been collectively put in greater than 13 million occasions.


The unique Poseidon operation comprised over 40 Android apps that had been designed to show advertisements out of context or hidden from the view of the machine consumer.

Charybdis, alternatively, was an enchancment over the previous by making use of code obfuscation ways to focus on promoting platforms.

Ad Fraud Scheme

Scylla presents the most recent adaption of the scheme in that it expands past Android to make a foray into the iOS ecosystem for the primary time, alongside counting on further layers of code roundabout utilizing the Allatori software.

These apps, as soon as put in, are engineered to commit totally different sorts of advert fraud, marking a big step up in sophistication from earlier variants.


These embody spoofing in style apps corresponding to streaming companies to trick promoting SDKs into putting advertisements, serving out-of-context and “hidden” advertisements by way of off-screen WebViews, and producing fraudulent advert clicks to revenue off advertisements.

“In layman’s phrases, the risk actors code their apps to fake to be different apps for promoting functions, actually because the app they’re pretending to be is price extra to an advertiser than the app can be by itself,” the corporate mentioned.

As all the time, customers are suggested to scrutinize apps previous to downloading them, and keep away from third-party app shops on the net that would harbor malicious functions.

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