Facebook Sues Two App Developers for App Click Fraud

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The apps were very normal and they were asking users to clean the phone's cache memory and other unwanted space to free the space, scanning for the viruses and saving the battery of the phone.

The Silicon Valley tech giant claims the two companies launched malicious apps in the Google Play app store that once installed used users' phones to trick Facebook's advertising system into paying out cash to them by pretending to be "real" people clicking on online advertisements. Google has not been as quick to act in the case of these particular devs as their apps are still active on the Play Store with millions of installs.

Facebook said it has initiated legal proceedings against two Android app developers on charges of using malware codes that could fake ad clicks to generate revenue. The lawsuit doesn't say how much money these developers made from their alleged scheme.

Both LionMobi and JediMobi apps had been utilizing Facebook ads to monetize their apps.

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Details: Hong Kong-based LionMobi allegedly engaged in "click injection fraud" to generate fake clicks on ads displayed on a smartphone. The malware was sometimes delivered to devices in the form of app updates, and since October 2018 it was directly in-build in the app itself.

Both these companies were a part of Facebook's Audience Network program. They are now seeking restitution for unspecific damage. According to Facebook, the developer used malware embedded in its Android apps to fake clicks on ads to make money off unsuspecting users who downloaded their apps.

Jessica Romero, Facebook's Director of Platform Enforcement and Litigation announced the news concerning the lawsuit on the platform's newsroom on August 6. The developers made apps available on the Google Play store to infect their users' phones with malware. The companies also violated a federal and state law against fraud, according to the lawsuit. LionMobi also advertised its malicious apps on Facebook, in violation of our Advertising Policies.

LionMobi said in an emailed statement that it "has never obtained any illegal income by so-called click injection fraud on the Facebook platform". Facebook said it didn't have anything else to add beyond what's in the lawsuit and its blog post.

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