The Google Play Store has seen a resurgence of 'zombie' apps that generate fraudulent ad clicks, according to a report fromeZanga.Since 28 August, the company's Anura platform has identified 43 fraudulent 'live wallpaper' apps. These apps, which come from just three developers, are believed to have a combined total of over 1.1m downloads.
The apps are manipulating a zero-click model, which mean the phone doesn’t have to actually be touched in order to generate a click. They work in a similar way to a tranche of apps identified in July, which contained code that could activate Android phones while in 'sleep mode'. It's a loophole that was thought to be closed, but these developers have altered the script just enough to slip past Google Play Protect and other fraud detectors.