Google removes 2 popular Android apps that enabled click fraud

Google highlights Play Store's Best of 2018

An app from Google called Sounds recently surfaced on the Play Store that, when installed on compatible phones, enables a collection of alarms, ringtones, and notification sounds previously only available for the Pixel. App analytics firm, Kochava, discovered the ad click fraud that was being conducted using the apps, and later on, Google's team found incriminating evidence in the form of malicious code used to execute the ad click fraud.

Aside from removing CM File Manager and Kika Keyboard from the Play Store, Google has reportedly delisted them from the AdMob mobile advertising network too.

Though the two companies can appeal the decision by Google, the two companies are now also been removed from its AdMob mobile advertising network.

It was reported last week that eight apps on Google Play with more than two billion downloads have been exploiting user permissions to steal "millions of dollars". "If an app violates our policies, we take action", a Google spokesperson was quoted as saying.

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. 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. But news that Google found dodgy code within a Cheetah Mobile app seemingly contradicts the developer's claims of third-party SDKs being to blame. For the moment, at least, the app listing has been removed from the Play Store although it was included with the December security patch.

Are you surprised that Google removed a Cheetah app?

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