Facebook is suing the creators of fake apps from the Play Store

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Facebook has filed a lawsuit against companies providing fake applications. Programs with various functionalities, without the user’s knowledge, “clicked” on Facebook ads, thus exposing the advertisers to investing in the platform and the social network itself.

As it turns out – there are really many types of malicious applications in the Play store. According to statistics of Lukas Stefanko, a threat analyst at ESET, users only downloaded fake applications over 32.5 million times last month!

Two companies, one from Singapore and the other from Hong Kong, have created applications that, without users’ knowledge and in an invisible way, automatically “clicked” on ads posted on Facebook.

According to information obtained from Lukas Stefanko, a threat analyst at ESET, programs with various functionalities made by LionMobi and JediMobi made available in the Google store have been downloaded more than 217 million times, generating a huge income for application developers and advertiser losses.

As ESET security researcher notes, malicious or unwanted applications often contain hidden ads or generate their impressions. This is confirmed by statistics collected by Lukas Stefanko regarding the number of fake and malicious applications in the Play Store detected in July this year. The programs, the functionality of which was based on increasing the advertising revenues of their creators (HiddenAd and AdFraud) had the most, in total over 20 million installations. Second place in the disgraceful ranking was applications that extort users’ data and money, urging them to buy fake subscriptions (Subscription scam).

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Apps created by LionMobi and JediMobi have been withdrawn from the Play Store, and all advertisers who have suffered losses due to fake programs have been reimbursed by Facebook. As these statistics show – there can be many more such situations.

Experts say simply: pay attention to the applications that we install on our phones. Those that click on ads without our knowledge are the most difficult to recognize. There is, however, maybe not very accurate, but still a way to verify the suspicious program. To do this, look for “Data usage” in the phone’s settings and check how much mobile data the application has used. If too much – consider uninstalling it.

Source: ESET

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