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Ad space scam: they used nearly 11 million smartphones to embezzle money

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Ad space scam: they used nearly 11 million smartphones to embezzle money

This is probably the biggest advertising scam found to date. As unveiled Lemon Squeezer a few days ago, a vast network of scammers was operating in the field of automated advertising. It must be said that in a market that weighs 418 billion dollars annually, the temptations are great. Without knowing it, almost 11 million smartphones have been trapped for use by thugs to embezzle money. These are the researchers of Human Securitywho specialize in cyberattacks, who uncovered the vast fraud last summer.

The process, however simple, had not been spotted until then. The crooks offered themselves advertising space on several popular apps, and then placed malware inside them. This then allowed the waterfowl to release dozens of videos following the one they had paid for. According to our colleagues, when the video was broadcast, 25 others were at the same time in the background, and the user saw nothing but fire.


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12 billion ads per day

The crooks of Vastflux were thus remunerated very easily without this having any great consequence for the average user who only suffered a faster discharge of his battery for the only damage. A total of 1,700 applications and 120 publishers were affected, leading to 12 billion ad requests per day. A crazy figure for one of the Human Security analysts: “When I received the first results concerning the volume of the attack, I had to reread the figures several times. It is clear that they were well organized and that they went to great lengths to avoid detection,” said one. The network servers were taken out of service at the end of the year. A majority of iPhones were affected, but also a few Android devices.

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