Mobile 'Click Injection' Fraud Projected To Rise This Year

Adjust, a mobile attribution and analytics firm and provider of fraud prevention tools, on Thursday said so-called “click injection” fraud is set to become one of the dominant forms of mobile marketing fraud in 2017.

Adjust said the “click injection” approach allows app publishers to make money by injecting fake “clicks” from a user’s device just as the user installs an app. The clicks are generated from within a fraudulent app and timed to be received within a second of the app download.

Adjust said that currently, click injection is effective on Android only, as it uses so-called “install broadcasts” to time the click.

As a result, the fake clicks are frequently credited for the user’s conversion. This steals organic conversions and conversions from legitimate publishers.

“This new scheme is technically similar to 'click-spamming,' which we described early last year, but evades the tools that prevent click spam,” stated Andreas Naumann, fraud specialist at Adjust. He said the company expects "click injection" to supplant and equal click-spamming activities in size, which accounted for an estimated 5 % of ad engagements on Android.

The company is currently testing different algorithms to prevent the fraudulently claimed conversions as part of their Fraud Prevention Suite of software tools protecting advertisers.

Of the company’s research finding, Simon Kendall, head of communications at Adjust, told Real-Time Daily via email: “This is part of our ongoing research, where we run samples across our database of over 18,000 apps that run anything from a handful of advertising campaigns to campaigns that run into the hundreds.”

Kendall explained the research is part of the company’s ongoing work on fraud prevention on mobile advertising campaigns it works on. “In those samples, where we'd usually find click-to-install time distributions that map well to click spamming, we’re now increasingly finding samples that map toward click injection.”

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