Google removes 2 popular Android apps that enabled click fraud
05 December, 2018, 21:55 | Author: Tara Roberts
Android apps for Cheetah Mobile and Kika are reportedly being kicked off Google's Play Store. The outlet says Google's internal investigation found that the apps contained code used for ad fraud techniques.
CM File Manager and Kika Keyboard together have over 250 million downloads on the Play Store, which indicates that the revenue pocketed illegally by the two apps must be huge.
BuzzFeed based its claims on evidence, including videos captured by the analysts Kochava, that Kika Tech and Cheetah Mobile incorporated code allowing for click fraud in their apps. "If an app violates our policies, we take action", Google told the publication. More specifically, it was alleged that the apps instituted click flooding and click injection while running, enabling them to "take credit" for new subsequent installs on the affected devices.
Cheetah Mobile, which supplies the successful apps Clean Master, Security Master and Battery Doctor, is now embroiled in a scandal initiated by an investigative report on BuzzFeed News. While the company is blaming the whole ad scandal on a third-party SDK, it should take responsibility for what's happened - especially since it could've stood to gain from such a scheme - and it should have vetted these services before flinging them onto their apps.
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Out of the list, Battery Doctor and CM Launcher apps were also removed by Cheetah Mobile last week itself.
After the findings were brought to Google's attention, two of the fraudulent apps were scrutinized and have now been removed from the Play Store.
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