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Apple removes 18 iOS apps for fraudulent advertising activity

November 04, 2019 / Ryan Daws

Apple has removed 18 iOS apps after determining they were being used to earn money for cybercriminals by conducting ad fraud. The apps were found to be secretly clicking adverts to earn the attacker cash. While such conduct is not intrusive and may not even be noticeable by the user, it can slow down the device, use more data, and/or drain the battery faster. Security researchers at Wandera discovered 17 of the infected apps which spanned a wide range of categories including productivity, utilities, and navigation. Apple spotted a further app using the same technique. Wandera first noticed dodgy activity originating from a speedometer app on a client’s smartphone. When they investigated it further, it was contacting a command and control server that had been previously identified as being involved with issuing ad fraud orders on Android.