The anatomy of mobile ad fraud: Click Injection
At Scalarr we classify Click Injection as a type of “attribution fraud” in the Classic Fraud category. Click Injection uses malware viruses inside real apps that they build or buy from other developers and promote. These infected fraud apps steal payment for all new installs on the device that are part of a paid user acquisition marketing campaign.
1. In 2018 Click injection was responsible for 11,8% of all fraud cases.
2. Click injection is only found on Android devices due to this operating system high risk of malware manipulation.
3. Click Injection often comes in a form of mixed fraud with other fraud techniques combined.
How Click Injection works
1. Fraudsters integrate a malware virus in the code of their own mobile app.
2. When users install the fraudsters infected app, the malware virus gets access to app install information on their device.
3. Then the fraud app constantly checks for installs of all apps and games that are part of a paid user acquisition marketing campaign.
4. During installation of any of the monitored apps, the fraud app generates and sends a synthetic click from the device with a conversion ID assigned to the fraudster.
5. As a result, the marketing campaign analytics attributes cost of the "stolen" install to the fraudster who receives payment.
How to deal with Click Injection
Today a heavily promoted but very poor solution to Click Injection is to automatically mark all installs with a fast Time To Install (TTI - the amount of time between installation start time and completion) distribution as fraudulent. This approach has low accuracy with many false-positives, leading to the rejection of good installs as well as the loss of potential customers and conversions. At Scalarr we use traffic clusterization technology based on Machine Learning algorithms, greatly reducing false positives and resulting in the detection of Click Injection with an accuracy of up to 97%.
Read Scalarr’s Ultimate Guide to Mobile Fraud Types to understand more about dealing with specific cases of Click Injection.
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