Types of Ad Fraud - Device Hijacking

Ad fraud has established a significant base for itself. With the advertising industry releasing new methods and ideas to reach out to their growing consumer base, fraudsters are also developing ways to loot the remaining revenue.

Scammers are moving deeper into the digital industry – from computers (web browsers) to mobile phones. We have seen many instances of botnets take control of a network of computers, now fraudsters have taken one step ahead to hijack mobile phones.

What is Device Hijacking?

Taking control of a device – a mobile phone, medical equipment, etc. – sometimes, even without the owner’s knowledge, is known as device hijacking. Almost 12 million devices were found to be hijacked in 2015.

With the mobile industry collaborating with the digital advertising industry, fraudsters have found another way to steal revenue from advertising networks.

This is done by loading fake ads and random clicks. The genius behind device hijacking lies in fraud apps being installed willingly; they are placed and advertised strategically to seem legitimate. It might even be a simple flashlight app or a game app. These apps act as a gateway between the device and the hijacker, giving them free entry to access the other apps on that device.

They load a large number of images and videos every minute, so fast that they’re almost “invisible”, draining the device of its battery as well as data. Consumers are forced to pay higher rates due to overconsumption of data above their paid limit. Consumers are unknowingly becoming victims to these frauds.

It is essential to take a few personal steps to ensure we are not contributing to their income. 

Thousands of apps are available at our fingertips and more emerge every single day. Although most of them have been created for the sole purpose of being used, some act as spoof apps, created to act as a device for crime. They do not target popular apps like Angry Birds.

This type of fraud not only affects the advertising networks, but it also affects consumer-advertiser trust. It has become difficult to differentiate between real apps and fraudulent apps, leading to increased scepticism and reduced app developers' sales. Many third parties are getting caught in this whirlwind of cheating and loss.  

It is difficult to uncover such fraud, as the usual anti-virus software cannot detect it. Advertisers must start working with companies like Botman to take them down and to protect their brand. 

Companies like Botman are working towards detecting and blocking fraud, in any form or shape.

With growing digital crime, consumers are becoming wary, and advertising tactics are not as effective as they were created to be. This is bringing considerable losses to the industry, and it’s become imperative to eradicate ad fraud.

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