Click Injection

The Android operating system broadcasts to all apps on the same device that a new app is being downloaded. Fraudsters develop seemingly legitimate apps and tools that use this broadcast to trigger clicks to the app store. The click will occur after the new app is downloaded, but before it is opened, making it look like the specific (ie. most recent) click that delivered the install, thus stealing attribution of that install.

AKA: Organic Poaching, Install Theft, Misattribution Fraud

Objective: Steal attribution of an organic install.

Indicator: Short Time to Install

The time between every click and install is measured, forming a normal distribution of the time to click an ad and install the corresponding application. Anything that falls outside of this is flagged by TrafficGuard. Given the size of the app, the time between clicking the ad and downloading the app will be impossibly short when Click Injection occurs.

Normal Time to Install Distribution



Click Injection Time to Install Distribution