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Google Smashes Ad-Fraud Racket

Google Smashes Ad-Fraud Racket
Over 40 apps have been thrown out of Google's Play store because they generate fraudulent ad clicks.

(CCM) — Google has smashed a huge advertising fraud racket by ejecting 41 apps which helped perpetrate the fraud from its Google Play app store, according to a Fortune report. Security company Check Point, which discovered the apps, said that a South Korean company called Enistudio had embedded software in the apps that visits web sites and automatically clicks on ads displayed on them, according to the report. The apps have been downloaded by unwitting users at least 36 million times, and Check Point estimated that Enistudio was making about $300,000 per month from the fraudulent ad clicks.

Google employs technology, dubbed "Bouncer," to try to prevent this type of software from ever reaching its Play store. But Check Point said that the technology was unable to detect that Enistudio's apps were defrauding advertisers because the automatic ad-clicking software was downloaded and added to the apps after users had installed them on their devices.

The company added that the oldest version of the fraudulent software dates back to April 2016, implying the racket had been earning money for its developers for at least a year without being detected.
Image: © Bloomua - Shutterstock.com
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