Is in-app advertising more susceptible to fraud than other forms of mobile marketing? Many ad buyers believe that to be the case, recent research shows.
Yet, in-app advertising is actually subject to far fewer fraudulent attempts than mobile Web advertising, according to Protected Media.
During the second half of 2018, in-app advertising experienced 25% fewer fraudulent attempts than mobile Web advertising, according to the digital security firm.
In its study of 40 billion impressions across 10 mobile DSPs and exchanges, Protected Media found fraud involving bots and viruses designed to simulate human users occurred 74% less often in-app compared to the mobile web.
View fraud -- where ads are deliberately shown in a way that’s invisible to users (such as ad stacking -- occurred 85% less often in-app.)
Tunneled traffic -- a method deployed by criminals to hide users’ geolocations by masking the IP address -- occurred 32% less often in-app, as well.
Reputation fraud -- which indicates whether a publisher or user ID is suspected of having engaged in fraud previously -- occurred 83% less often in-app.
As of October 2018, media buyers were allocating nearly half (45%) of their digital budgets to mobile -- which they split about evenly between mobile Web and in-app purchases, Forrester found.
Whether these new findings move the needle in favor of in-app ads remains to be seen.
Regardless of the specific channel, digital platforms remain a fraudster paradise. According to a new academic study, social media-enabled cybercrimes now generate about $3.25 billion in revenue, per year.
Conducted by the researchers at the University of Surrey on behalf of security firm Bromium, the research found that one-in-five organizations have been infected with malware distributed via social media.
Popular mobile apps are at the center of this illegal activity, according to Mike McGuire, the report’s author and a senior lecturer in criminology at the University of Surrey.
In particular, “Facebook Messenger has been instrumental in spreading cryptomining strains like Digmine,” McGuire notes in the new report.
“Another example we found was on YouTube, where users who clicked on adverts were unwittingly enabling cryptomining malware to execute on their devices, consuming more than 80% of their CPU to mine Monero,” per McGuire.