Oct. 24, 2019
Apple has been in the news a lot lately, and much of it is related to problems with iOS and more "dangerous" software getting by Apple and into customer phones. Apple prides itself on having an enclosed environment, unlike Android, and therefore their products are safer. Not exactly true.
The apps on the Apple App Store were found to be malicious from a third party. What they discovered was shocking. Apple lacks the expertise to catch sophisticated malicious software. The malicious software was designed to create fake clicks or visits on ads and websites as well as stealing user information from the iPhone itself.
The reason I am writing about this is what the software was doing and how it affects advertising and website traffic. In this most recent case, the software was designed to create fake traffic on websites. Fraud is becoming a huge problem with advertising and monitoring of websites. Advertisers are led into believing that they are getting more traffic, which they are paying for when, in fact, it is only a Bot that visited their website. More devious is competitors are using these Apps to drain their competitions advertising budgets by using them up and "clicking" on pay-per-click ads.
I had mentioned in an earlier article about companies offering to put bad reviews up for customers competitors, driving away customers and traffic. This new wave of "fraud" steals the competitor's traffic by pretending to be a search customer, clicking on their ads, and visiting the website. All of this appears to be legitimate because the affected iPhone is being used in disguising the malicious software and tricking everyone into thinking the iPhone visitor was the one who visited.
Another usage of malicious software is companies who sell traffic to websites for as little as 1 cent. They use the bots to visit the clients' website driving up what appears to be real traffic when in fact it is nothing more than a Bot controlling an iPhone in the background.
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As long as companies are not held financially liable for not protecting their customers this will continue unabated. It is high time to start holding technology companies responsible for their inept business practices.
JimBean [Oct. 28, 2019]