back to article This'll upset the Apple cart: 1,200 iOS apps downloaded 300 million times a month include 'ad fraud' code

For over a year, a widely used code library from Chinese mobile ad biz Mintegral is alleged to have been covertly capturing data about app users' online interactions to steal ad revenue. According to security biz Snyk, the Mintegral SDK purports to be a tool that helps app developers make money from ads in mobile apps. Used in …

  1. Falmari Silver badge
    Pirate

    That 30% well worth it

    Nice to see that 30% Apple cream off protecting their users.

    I assume Apple are getting 30% of the add click revenue that goes to the app creator.

    1. LeahroyNake

      Re: That 30% well worth it

      Now that it is in the media expect Apple to ummmm do something, or just maybe look at the revenue it is bringing in and quietly ignore it.a

    2. monty75

      Re: That 30% well worth it

      Why would you assume that?

      1. Falmari Silver badge

        Re: That 30% well worth it

        I would assume that because that's the way the developers monetarises their app by showing adds instead of charging for the app. So Apple must be taking their 30% cut. Does not payment for adds go through Apple as well?

        1. monty75

          Re: That 30% well worth it

          No it doesn't. That's why I asked the question.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MoPub says what?

    Apparently MoPub had a web page for downloading the Mintegral SDK as well but now it's serving up a 404:

    https://developers.mopub.com/publishers/mediation/networks/mintegral/

    Damage control?

  3. HildyJ Silver badge
    WTF?

    How did this slip through?

    Google's Play Store gets rightly dinged for apps such as this but the numbers are orders of magnitude less than this. While I decry Apple's walled garden, I previously did buy their argument that the wall keeps this sort of thing for,from happening. Did Apple know and not care (for economic or political reasons)? Or is their app vetting just a myth?

    1. Apprentice

      Re: How did this slip through?

      Like so many of you that think Apple is so safe and snuggly, and Google (as you weirdly put it, should be rightly dinged) you will eventually see that your 'safe space' really isn't that. Sorry your bubble was burst but you're living in the real world.

      1. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: How did this slip through?

        By the sounds of it the app makers took huge efforts to make it look legit by changing its behaviour when debugging tools etc used (see article)

        App vetting will never be foolproof - its always a bit of an arms race.

        .

        Disclosure - not an iPhone user, not an apple famboi, just noting that security / app vetting is difficult

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How did this slip through?

        Like so many of you that think Apple is so safe and snuggly, and Google (as you weirdly put it, should be rightly dinged) you will eventually see that your 'safe space' really isn't that. Sorry your bubble was burst but you're living in the real world.

        Sorry to burst your personal hate bubble, but if you consider ANY platform safe and/or snuggly, you need help (clinical in case of the latter, but I digress). The choices you make are always about more or fewer risks, and in that respect I still prefer Apple a mile over other offerings.

        Put another way, Apple's offerings are not safe, but usually safer. It means you run LESS risk, but nobody should assume they are thus released of their personal responsibility to make at least mildly sane choices or exercise a minimum of critical thinking.

        On any platform, when I install software I look at evaluations, I still look at the age, release track record of the application, user comments and from which jurisdiction it hails. Only then will I decide to install something or not. That goes for any platform and any kind of software - no exceptions.

  4. Apprentice

    Blind faith

    Ooh ooh, but Apple's app store doesn't have malicious apps, all my iPhone friends told me, so must be true.

  5. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Big fleas have little fleas

    Upon their backs to bite 'em

    And little fleas have lesser fleas.

    And so ad infinitum...

    We have parasites living on the parasites...

  6. hoola Silver badge

    Genuinely Puzzled....

    How can 1200 apps generate 300 million download a month?

    It is like all this statistics that state how many times something has been downloaded, it is just that, a download. This is not how many people are using it and given that so many Apps are utter shite with the sole purpose of delivering dodgy adverts I wonder how many downloads are deleted with minutes (seconds) of installation.

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      Re: Genuinely Puzzled....

      It's the stat that's used, because it's the stat that's most easily measured. If you can suggest a scaling factor that approximates the number of active users based on research, go ahead.

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