The apps were made available on the Google Play Store. The malware that came with the apps created fake user clicks on Facebook ads that appeared on the users’ phones, giving the impression that the users had clicked on the ads.
The app developers caught for creating the infected apps are Hong Kong-based — LionMobi and Singapore-based JediMobi, Facebook revealed in a blog-post on Tuesday.
“LionMobi and JediMobi generated unearned payouts from Facebook for misrepresenting that a real person had clicked on the ads,” Jessica Romero, Director of platform enforcement and litigation wrote in the post.
The ads were part of Facebook’s Audience Network. LionMobi also advertised its malicious apps on Facebook, violating the social networking platform’s advertising policies.
“LionMobi and JediMobi have been banned from Audience Network and their accounts have been disabled. All impacted advertisers were refunded by Facebook in March,” Romero added.