Sketchy Android keyboard app with 40M downloads make money off unauthorized purchases

Ai.type, an Android third-party keyboard app has got a warning from Security researchers. The app was found to have stealthily signed up users for millions of unauthorized purchases of premium digital content. As per the findings disclosed by mobile tech company Upstream, the app was downloaded over 40 million times. Moreover, it was removed from the Google Play Store in June but it is still active on millions of devices to this date.

Sketchy Android keyboard app with 40M downloads make money off unauthorized purchases
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“Ai.type carries out some of its activity hiding under other identities, including disguising itself to spoof popular apps such as Soundcloud. The app‘s tricks have also included a spike in the suspicious activity once removed from the Google Play store,” the researchers said.

Upstream detected about 14 million suspicious transaction requests from 110,000 distinctive devices that downloaded the Ai.form keyboard. Also, the application could have cost victims a collective $18 million in undesirable prices if these transactions had not been blocked. Further, the suspicious action was recorded from as several as 13 international locations. In order to harbor several apps that dedicate advertisement fraud, the official application stores for iOS and Android have been located.

Moreover, personal data of about 31 million consumers were leaked on the internet in 2017 and it was also caught sending its users’ keystroke data to its servers in plaintext back in 2011.


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