We hear a lot about malware and adware apps that look like Android apps, but it’s rare for fake iOS apps to get past Apple’s security and curation. But HUMAN’s Satori Threat Intelligence & Research team has found 10 of these iPhone apps that, when installed, “commit several different kinds of advertising fraud.”
In a long blog post about the Charybdis and Scylla operations, researchers found that more than 10 iOS apps and about 75 Android apps “contained code that pretended to be other, legitimate games for advertising purposes, helping to keep their operation quiet.” These apps used code obfuscation to generate fake clicks and fraudulent ads on hidden screens that are “loaded with ads, tricking advertisers into paying for fake impressions.”
All of the apps that the researchers found were copies of popular games that have since been taken off the App Store:
- Loot the Castle
- Ninja Critical Hit
- Racing Legend 3D
- Rope Runner
- Run Bridge
- Shinning Gun
- Tony Runs
- Wood Sculptor
The researchers didn’t find any security risks, but they did find that background processes and transmissions could slow down performance and drain the battery faster. Also, the teams warn that the developers “may update the apps to change how they work, so the best thing to do is to get rid of the apps.”
One of the easiest ways to get rid of an app is to find it in Settings:
- Go to Settings.
- Navigate to General > iPhone Storage (or iPad Storage).
- Look through your list of apps (which are sorted with the ones taking up the most space at the top).
- To get rid of an app, tap it then select Delete App on the next page.