back to article Did you know that iOS ad clicks cost more than Android? These scammers did

An enterprising malware writer has been masquerading infected Android devices as Apple gear in order to make a few extra bucks. Researchers with SophosLabs say the Andr/Clickr-ad malware takes advantage of the demand for ads that reach iPhone owners, as advertisers believe Apple fanbois are more willing to splash their cash. …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "hidden within a flashlight app and some games"

    Flashlight app? You mean that hasn't been standard on all phones for the last 4 or 5 years?

    1. David Pearce

      Amazingly stock Android, at least as of v8.1, does not have a torch function.

      1. tiggity Silver badge

        @David Pearce

        Indeed, always odd that trustworthy torch on / off functionality not available by default - especially when torch apps are renowned for being malware laden so d/l one is a big risk, but people d/l them because they are very useful

        Easiest way is torch on / off commands typed in a google assistant window on stock to avoid d/l of a potentially dubious torch app - takes a few seconds longer but safer

        .. Obv assumes non rooted phone i.e. you have not removed / disabled various google junk including the assistant

        1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          "Easiest way is torch on / off commands typed in a google assistant window on stock to avoid d/l of a potentially dubious torch app - takes a few seconds longer but safer"

          The easiest way is to buy an iPhone.

      2. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

        Amazingly stock Android, at least as of v8.1, does not have a torch function.

        Pixel XL user here. It's there in the notification shade, but you have to enable the Quick Settings toggle yourself.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Flashlight app? You mean that hasn't been standard on all phones for the last 4 or 5 years?

      I still have one, because it provides flashing/strobing. Could be a fun idea to write an app that could flash in Morse, actually :)

  2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
    Gimp

    iOS users are more suggestible than Android users? Say it isn't so!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > iOS users are more suggestible than Android users? Say it isn't so!

      Well, maybe. The conclusion I'd draw is that iOS users are easier to separate from their money by advertising to them, while Android users are easier to con into downloading malware. Truly, this is the glorious future we were promised.

    2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      "iOS users are more suggestible than Android users? Say it isn't so!"

      No, it's that iOS users are perceived as more well-off, and more likely to part with their copious quantities of freely disposable income because they can clearly miss it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        hello, have you taken a ride on the proletariat omnibuses recently? ever council estate mum has an iphone now. it's not the glorious symbol of wealth it used to be. it's tinsel for idiots.

        1. devTrail

          "hello, have you taken a ride on the proletariat omnibuses recently? "

          It seems you don't know the difference in the spending power between people in countries where the per capita GDP is between 3000 and 300 dollars and the UK where the per capita GDP is a little bit more than 44000 dollars. You can find Android phones for less than 100 dollars, iPhones for that price have to be used and really old, the council estate mum has probably spent a lot more than 80 pounds on her iPhone.

        2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          ”have you taken a ride on the proletariat omnibuses recently? ever council estate mum has an iphone now. it's not the glorious symbol of wealth it used to be. it's tinsel for idiots.“

          Insular thinking. Try expanding your world view to include Africa, India and big chunks of Asia rather than just the UK, which sits fairly close to the top of the GDP per capita pile regardless of where in the UK you live.

          Council house mum has hundreds of times more disposable income than 90% of India - where landfill Android is a status symbol.

    3. devTrail

      Apple has had for a long time a big share of the US market and outside the US it sell mostly in the rich countries, android sells a little bit more in those countries, but since they also sell a lot in the developing countries to people with lower spending power the average spending is lower. With a spin on the statistics and some marketing it's easy to let people think that iPhone users are more willing to spend.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        With a spin on the statistics and some marketing it's easy to let people think that iPhone users are more willing to spend.

        Its blatantly obvious. The average price of all iPhones sold is FAR higher than the average price of all Androids sold, so of course iPhone owners are more willing and able to spend ON AVERAGE. Sure, there are Android phones that cost as much as the most expensive iPhone, and there are Android owners with incomes of tens of millions of dollars who could buy 10 iPhones for every Reg reader and not even miss the money, but that doesn't change the averages.

        For most of the world's population, an iPhone is far beyond their means. There are Android phones that cost under $50, which is still beyond the means of some of the world's poorest.

  3. whitepines Silver badge
    Windows

    "after ensuring all data has been synchronised to Google’s cloud"

    I thought the idea was to protect oneself from having one's data stolen, not just give up and hand it all over to the malware authors....

    *cough*

  4. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Users will have to manually uninstall the infected apps in order to stop the clickfraud.

    Well, that just means the nasty will stay there forever. How many users pay attention to such things like this and then actually act upon it.

  5. hugo tyson

    Cost to me?

    If all it costs the infected user is a little battery life, they won't notice either, and it's not an unreasonable decision to decide not to care?

    AFAICT there's no other downside to the victim, is there?

    1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

      Re: Cost to me?

      Did I consent to this? No. Therefore, this is unethical.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Cost to me?

        >Did I consent to this? No.

        Well it depends on what was in the app's data access privileges/permissions request when you clicked 'I consent' and downloaded it...

      2. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

        Re: Cost to me?

        Unethical?

        But how else is this person going to pay their mortgage / house rent?

        Survival trumps ethics

        Just ask the Uruguayan rugby team of 1972

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cost to me?

      If all it costs the infected user is a little battery life, they won't notice either, and it's not an unreasonable decision to decide not to care?

      Most lower end users don't exactly have unlimited data budgets either - they are inadvertently sponsoring crime by having their data allowance consumed by a 3rd party.

  6. LDS Silver badge

    How much Google earned from the clicked ads?

    Aren't the ads exchanges, after all, those that eventually got the all the real benefits form this frauds?

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: How much Google earned from the clicked ads?

      Which is why Google has little incentive to try to stop click fraud completely, only to limit it JUST enough that it doesn't destroy the market for online advertising.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    advertisers know that people who use i-devices are more gullible and hence more susceptable to ads, hence pay more to get those ads to those i-chumps.

    dont hate me, i-chumps. i didn't make the world this way. it's not my fault marketeers see you this way. you might me the most discerning and critical-thinking consumer around - but there's a heck of a lot of gullible i-device users out there, if the marketting metrics are to be believed.

    this reminds me of the brexit voters who get pissed off for being called stupid racists. if you werent stupid racists - why was so much of the leave campaign presented around immigration and painted on the side of a big red bus? its not just remainers that think you're stupid racists, your own campaigners think you are too.

    1. fruitoftheloon
      FAIL

      @Brain dead AC

      AC,

      you are a pillock, I suspect you have had the misfortune to meet someone who voted leave, and they happened to be a narrow-minded moron who 'wanted the foreigners out' or somesuch drivel; then you fired up both neurons at the same time to get the amazing conclusion that all leave voters were the same as that sad case...

      WE ARE NOT!

      That does not mean that everyone who voted to leave is equally thick / bigoted as our hypothetical 'leave' voter.

      If you seriously believe that enough folk saw what was written on the side of a bus then decided to vote leave instead of remain, I really hope you don't have a job that has too much responsibility, because your judgement is very suspect indeed...

      BTW is there any particular reason why you are hiding behind the cowards' curtain today?

      Regards,

      Jay.

  8. wayne 8

    Victims are the advertisers willing to pay extra to advertise to iPhone users.

    The end user is not a victim, just a carrier.

  9. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Flame

    "it can restart itself after three minutes"

    How on God's green Earth can one justify that kind of functionality ? What deranged monkey with a keyboard decided that a closed app can be revived without user consent ?

    If I shut a program down on my PC via Task Manager, that thing stays dead or else there is a malware infection and that PC is getting wiped and reloaded from backup.

    What an effin' crazy frakkin' world we live in.

    I hate smartphones.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: "it can restart itself after three minutes"

      I'd blame Google for making it possible for the app to do so, not for abusive app writers to be abusive.

      Reminds me of the tale of scorpion and the frog...

  10. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Yes, Apple clicks are more expensive than Android ones, but that is because the user experience is better.

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