Mobile Menace: You’ve been infected! Or have you?

Posted October 3, 2016 by

In the mobile world, most of us have become accustomed to installing apps that display ads in exchange for the them being free. Most ads aren’t too annoying, and for the price it is worth having them displayed. It’s a fair compromise—until the ad servers display something along the lines of “You’ve been INFECTED!!!”.

Ad networks, a scammer’s dream

Just the other day, while me and my family are here in Portugal on holiday (well, holiday for them while I work remotely), my in-law got one of these ads:

1

Since we are in Portugal, the ads are all in Portuguese. This particular ad roughly translates as:

Active alert

Your attention is necessary. Touch to read now.

With the ad covering the whole screen and only a little “x” to close it in the corner, it’s pretty easy to accidentally click the ad which opens your browser to a webpage, which is exactly what happened to my in-law while playing the game, Baby Flash Cards, with our toddler.  Suddenly, her browser opened to this scary pop-up:

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