Security Researchers Find Ten iOS Adware Apps in the App Store Engaging in Ad Fraud

Security researchers discovered 10 adware apps in the iOS App Store that engaged in ad fraud. Once downloaded, these apps generated revenue by impersonating legitimate apps and ad impressions.

Adware iOS apps are both visible and hidden

According ringing computer, 10 different iOS apps flooded users with both visible and hidden advertisements. With 75 Android apps, iOS apps reached a total of 13 million installs.

The Satori Threat Intelligence team from security research firm HUMAN discovered the rogue adware iOS apps. The company has named the new ad fraud campaign “Scylla”. The team believes Scylla is the third wave of an ad fraud campaign that the company first uncovered in August 2019. The research firm named the campaign’s first and second wave, respectively, “Poseidon” and Charybdis”. Charybdis, the second wave, was discovered during the latter part of 2020.

Realizing the threat of these apps to users, the Satori team contacted Apple and Google to inform them of the adware apps. Both companies removed the apps from their respective app stores. However, for iOS users who may have already installed the adware iOS apps on their devices, Apple has not provided details on how to remove them. The research company recommended users to remove the apps from their iOS devices.

10 scam apps you need to remove now

Here are the 10 fraudulent iOS apps:

  • Loot the castle – com.loot.rcastle.fight.battle (id1602634568)
  • Run Bridge – com.run.bridge.race (id1584737005)
  • Shining gun – com.shinning.gun.ios (id1588037078)
  • Racing Legend 3D – com.racing.legend.like (id1589579456)
  • Rope runner – com.rope.runner.family (id1614987707)
  • Woodcarver – com.wood.sculptor.cutter (id1603211466)
  • Firewall – com.fire.wall.poptit (id1540542924)
  • Ninja critical hit – wger.ninjacriticalhit.ios (id1514055403)
  • Tony Runs – com.TonyRuns.game

BeepComputer also noted the difficulty of detecting and reverse engineering fraudulent apps. He advises users to monitor their apps for malicious or unwanted activity by looking for certain signs that usually indicate a problem. These include rapid battery drain and increased internet data usage. Another precautionary measure is to remove apps that users don’t remember installing at all.

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