Everything Is Not What It Seems
The banner ads that run across the top of the screen in certain apps on Androids were found to have several layers of hidden video ads playing just underneath it. The banner is relatively cheap for an advertiser, making the entire process an even larger moneymaker.
The process can be broken down into a series of actions:
- App owner sells a banner ad which is visible to the users
- Fraudsters who bought the banner advertisement conceal videos behind the banner that no one can see
- The hidden videos register as having been served and viewed, giving advertisers a counted impression for their product
- The fraudsters make money from selling many ads that are hidden in layers
The Culprits Behind the Fraud
Protected Media found that one of the key players in the entire scheme was an Israeli video ad technology platform called Aniview. The company claimed innocence, stating that a third party exploited them. A thorough investigation by digital measurement company DoubleVerify along with Protected Media showed through code and video evidence that Aniview and their subsidiary OutStream Media were frontrunners in the scheme.
The majority of banner ads in the scheme were purchased under the Twitter-owned mobile ad network MoPub. Though this does not mean they were involved in the scheme, their ad platform was still exploited for months.
Little Consequence for the Fraudsters
While advertising networks may not be directly involved with the ad fraud, they still receive a cut of the money that was spent on the invalid advertisement. The only loser in the fraud scenarios are the companies who pay for their publicity fairly. With financial gain for the majority of people involved, there is little movement to put a stop to the smoke and mirrors.
The consumers using Android apps are suffering too, as their data and battery life are being drained. This can result in a lack of trust for apps, leading to poor reviews and fewer downloads for app creators.
What Your Mobile Device is Telling You
A decrease in battery life may not mean that you have layers of ads cluttering up your apps. Failure to hold a charge or a weak battery may be a sign that your device is failing. When you notice these failure signs, call a professional data recovery company to ensure your data stays secure. Secure Data Recovery is available 24/7 through our customer service line at 800-388-1266.