A PIECE OF Android adware has found a cunning way of earning more money from infected devices: pretending they're iPhones.
Like most bits of adware, the catchily named Andr/Clickr-ad works by furiously tapping ads in the background, and restarts itself if it's shut down. What it does differently is pretending the traffic is coming from iOS-based devices rather than Android ones.
The reason for this isn't to make Tim Cook's company look bad - it's just a fact of life that ad rates are slightly higher for Apple devices than they are for Android, Windows or Linux, presumably as Apple owners are known to be free-spending with their cash. We can't think why.
As such, it just makes sense for the adware to hide the device it's on and pretend to be an iPhone to eke every last bit of cash from the scam that it can.
That free party is over though, as Google has removed all 22 apps packing the adware from the Play Store after being highlighted by Sophos. It had a good run though, appearing in apps downloaded more than two million times. The most popular of these apps was a flashlight app called Sparkle, which accounted for more than one million downloads on its own.
In terms of affecting the user directly, Andr/Clickr-ad would restart itself within three minutes of being closed, which could impact battery life. It also had the power to download and run other files, but strangely it chose not to use this bonus jerk-move.
Even more strangely, the developers behind the apps had published a number of iOS ones on Apple's App Store, but these seem to be clean. Whether this is due to better screening or because iOS apps are just deemed more profitable without underhand tricks is just something we'll just have to speculate about. µ
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