Another malware case hidden behind a popular application reveals Secure-D, the security platform of the Greek Upstream technology company.
Secure-D platform labs have unveiled this time that the popular “4shared” application on the Android platform, with more than 100 million users worldwide, hides malware that secretly displays online ads, makes false clicks, and sign in users to services with high charges, while at the same time it states “real” views, clicks and purchases in advertising agencies.
Recently, and within a few months, Secure-D detected and prevented nearly 114 million suspicious mobile transactions coming from the “4shared” application. These transactions were detected in 17 countries and covered approximately 2 million mobile devices. Unobstructed, they would have enrolled users in digital value added services with unwanted charges of up to $ 150 million.
Guy Krief, Upstream CEO, said:
“The complexity of malicious software hidden behind innocent and often popular applications such as “4shared” is growing, affecting on a large scale every single piece of mobile phone market. Online advertising fraud has a strong impact on the credibility and revenue of application devolopers, advertising agencies, media, and advertisers. Mobile phone companies are often considered to be primarily responsible, while consumers, without information and substantial protection, are finally called upon to pay the bill.“
It is estimated that online advertising fraud is a market worth $40 billion, with its value rising as mobile advertising grows, while mobile devices become our main way of accessing the Internet.
The example of the unwanted charges that would arise if Secure-D had not blocked the suspicious activity of “4shared”, though not negligible -$150 million- is the cost of just one case of malware. Last month, Secure-D released the “Vidmate” application that also hides malicious software that would result in unwanted charges of $170 million.
The Upstream security platform identifies about 170 new malicious applications every day -a number that also shows the size of the online advertising fraud– an issue that, as Guy Krief explains takes “epidemic dimensions”.
“Our response to the problem is continuous innovation”,
says Upstream CEO, continuing:
“The Secure-D platform combines machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms with payment clearing workflows to successfully detect cases of fraud, even the most complex, at 99.9%.”
It is noted that in 2018 only, Upstream’s Secure-D processed more than 1.8 billion transactions and managed to identify and prevent over 63,000 malicious applications in 16 countries.