Security researchers have discovered 10 “adware” apps on the App Store that were involved in ad fraud, according to a report from sleeping computer. The apps are designed to generate revenue by impersonating legitimate apps and serving a wide range of ads to iPhone users.


The mobile apps are discovered by HUMAN’s Satori Threat Intelligence team, which are part of an ad scam campaign they are calling “Scylla”. It’s the third wave of a scam first discovered in August 2019, that Apple is battling. The apps have been removed from the App Store at this point, but if you have the following apps installed, you should delete them:

  • Loot the castle – com.loot.rcastle.fight.battle (id1602634568)
  • Run Bridge – com.run.bridge.race (id1584737005)
  • shinning gun – com.shinning.gun.ios (id1588037078)
  • Racing Legend 3D – com.racing.legend.like (id1589579456)
  • Rope Runner – com.rope.runner.family (id1614987707)
  • Wood carving – com.wood.sculptor.cutter (id1603211466)
  • Firewall – com.fire.wall.poptit (id1540542924)
  • Ninja Critical Hit – wger.ninjacriticalhit.ios (id1514055403)
  • Toni Runs – com.TonyRuns.game

Apps that committed ad fraud used a bundle identifier that didn’t match their post name, making the impression appear to advertisers that the impressions came from a more profitable software category. Apps seem to imitate CTV-based apps, with identifiers changing often to avoid detection.

While 10 apps were found on the iOS ‌App Store‌, more than 70 apps were found in the Google Play Store, and adware is a more serious problem on Android devices. Apple’s App Store review process has managed to reduce the severity of the issue on iOS devices, but there are still apps that push their limits.

Adware is more of an annoyance than a serious problem with the App Store, but it’s something iPhone owners should be aware of. Security researchers suggest that smartphone users should look for rapid battery drain and increased internet data usage to detect fraudulent advertising apps in the future. Avoiding installing apps from shady developers is also a good idea.

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