Push Ads Warning

Discussion in 'Motorola Droid 2' started by calguy19, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. calguy19
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    calguy19 New Member

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    There seems to be a new practice with some of the developers. They put "push ads" into their apps. These things work behind the scenes, after you close the app (still runs as a process, which you can't stop. They keep restarting). They put spam ads on your notification bar, including porno ads.

    Check out "Restaurant Nutrition" app on the android market, and read the comments.

    In general, you won't know which of your apps (new, or update) is putting those ads on your notification bar. You want your kid getting porno ads? Do YOU want to be bombarded with those ads, porno, or otherwise, and nothing you can do to stop them, short of deleting ALL your non-paid for apps?

    These are in additon to those other push ads, loud 15-30 second videos that some adware apps suddenly launch (see the comments on the Weatherbug app, you can't turn down the volume. But at least you know which app is doing this, and you can complain to the developer and delete the app. With status bar push apps, you don't even know which app is doing it).

    We need to complain to google and android market. They need to stop any apps which push ads to your phone surrepticiously from being placed on the market. This could be a problem for the entire google/droid phone market - if I can't download apps from them which won't hijack my phone, my next phone will be an Apple - they screen all apps going into their market.
  2. allenjgoldstein
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    allenjgoldstein New Member

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    Are there any apps to detect these?
  3. nu2droid
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    nu2droid Member

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    I hear ya. My wife had one on her d2g. Annoying as hell. Never could figure out which app did it.
    Ended up doing a factory reset, it was the only way to get rid of it.
    Hers was a yellow star icon that would show up in the notification bar saying she won an IPad. When you clicked it, it took you to a website that wouldn't even come up..
    Something should be done.

    Sent from my DROID3 using DroidForums
  4. sos567656765
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    sos567656765 New Member

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    addons detector will scan your apps and tell you what ones use what ad systems. also airpush permanent opt out supposedly will keep you from getting any more.

    I personally use a combination of addons detector (to see what apps misbehave), adfree (to block known ad servers) and droidwall (to only give apps that i trust access to the internet.) Ever since i started using droidwall and ad free my phone is virtually well... adfree.
  5. nu2droid
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    nu2droid Member

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    I rely on adfree also, but somehow that damn star got past it and wouldnt get blocked.
    Will have to try the others.

    Sent from my DROID3 using DroidForums
  6. calguy19
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    calguy19 New Member

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    After I started this thread, there was an update on "Restaurant Nutrition" on the droid market. All the comments were one star - the update started pushing porno ad spam onto the notif bar. I also posted a nasty comment on the market, and send them a really nasty email (complete with several instances of the f-word). They backed off and issued an update, supposedly without any notif bar ads.

    I also emailed Lookout and requested they include these kinds of push ads in their phone protection app. They emailed back saying they are aware of the problem and are working on it.

    So far, they way I track these down is to suspect recently added apps or updates, see which ones run in the background (I use advanced task killer), and eliminate them one by one or in small groups, and see which ones absence makes the ads go away. If you get multiple apps sending these, it's much harder to track down the culprits.

    Apps that do this will completely poison the well for all droid apps. If google doesn't put a stop to this, they could wind up destroying their own app marketplace, while I and many others simply migrate over to iphones.

    QUESTION - How do you do airpush permanant opt-out?
  7. silverfang77
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    silverfang77 Member

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    This is one of the negative reprisals of having an anything-goes Market environment. It's great that Android devs have more freedom than Apple devs, but a few rogues are going to end up ruining it for everyone.
  8. calguy19
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    calguy19 New Member

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    There are reprisors and reprisees. Google could get themselves in real trouble if they don't deal with this. Look what happened to Netflix when they were stupid enough not to realize why their customers are there in the first place. Netfix's loss is Redbox's gain. If the google android market becomes littered with apps that secretly hijack your phone, push porno ads, contribute to identify theft, push loud vieeo popups you can't trun off, how long is going to be before most of us tell google where to go, and jump on the iphone bandwagon? Me - I have no intention of continuing with a smart phone system that behaves so obnoxiously.

    Google - you better wake up.
  9. rubiksc00p
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    rubiksc00p Well-Known Member

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    So has anyone tried Airpush detector? :) I didn't see it mentioned. Just wanted to make sure you knew about it. It's great and lets you know which apps are causing the problem! :D
  10. zacedward
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    zacedward Member

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    Air pusher detector is really good it says which one is causing it

    Sent from my ADR6400L using DroidForums
  11. calguy19
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    calguy19 New Member

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    Apparently Airpush Detector doesn't alway catch everything, nor does Addon Detector. In my case, it didn't show anything. So I compared recent updates with apps that keep turning themselves on and running in the background (as shown on ATK). I deleted the updates on both of my apps that were suspect and went back to the prior versions. (I keep backups of all my apps, so I can restore earlier versions as necessary) and the ads stopped. Astro File Manager and ES File Explorer, among others, can back up your apps into installable apk files, which can be restored at any time.
  12. lizard
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    lizard New Member

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    I replaced my /system/etc/hosts file with one a buddy gave me that he is running on his Atrix. I think he got the file off of xda, but not 100% sure. He doesn't go to too many other sites, as far as his phone is concerned. I just replaced it by overwriting it and setting permissions to --xrwxr-x. Wish I could provide a link, but I can't, as I received it via wifi transfer. I also use DroidWall and Privateer Lite.

    Sent from my DROID2 using DroidForums
  13. calguy19
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    calguy19 New Member

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    Most of us have non-rooted phones, so we can't use those ad-blocker apps or pull those other tricks with the system files.
  14. Nex
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    Nex New Member

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    Hi guys,

    Made an account just just to chip in on this discussion. These ads are happening to me too, I click a hyper link in an app, and sometimes I just get linked to a porn site. What the hell android. I've had this happening to me before, that it why I reset my phone to factory settings and deleted the on board SD card just to be sure. Have done that twice now, and it keeps happening. I've completely lost trust in the security of my phone and for that matter the security of my google account. Since I just reset my phone I haven't downloaded that much apps and certainly no shady apps. On the other hand, I haven't downloaded any shady apps in the past neither, so I am pretty confused. Could it be the chrome browser? Never happened to me whilst using the stock browser.

    I hope this gets fixed because surprise pornsites all of the sudden are dealbreakers for me.

    Any more reports of the above? Only a combined effort by users can fix this kinda stuff.

    Cheers.
  15. rjeatkrconley
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    rjeatkrconley New Member

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    Hey nex, welcome to the forums....
    Have you tried any of the lookout products? They have an ad detector app. Its free in the market. It may help find the culprit. And if you haven't get their mobile security app.
  16. Nex
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    Nex New Member

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    Thanks for the tip! I've used security software in the past and they never found anything. Ive downloaded Lookout as you said and it came out empty as well. I never download any shady apps so I dont think its in the apps. Im really in the dark as to what is causing these redirects :-/
  17. rjeatkrconley
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    rjeatkrconley New Member

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    Did you download lookout ad network detector? I downloaded all of their apps and found some very useful info.
  18. Nex
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    Nex New Member

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    Thnx, Downloaded and scanned. Nice app but IT didnt find anything. Any more tips?
  19. zomnomnombie
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    zomnomnombie Active Member

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    Some of the reactions in here are troubling. Android is an open market and as such there are going to be things you don't like.

    The majority of the apps that use these ads are free. Meaning you have lost NOTHING.

    I don't like ads, ever. I have push notifications apps to sniff out the rare cases I find of them. If it's an app I really like, it usually isn't, I pay for the ad free version. If they don't offer one I uninstall the app and find an alternative that doesn't have the notifications in the first place or offers an ad free version.

    This goes for most apps with regular ads inside the app. I don't have a problem with the developers making their own business model. Their downloads and revenue dictate whether a particular system works for them.

    Basically I prefer the Android model as opposed to the Apple model where Apple dictates the developers' and consumers' choices. Even with the negatives of the open market.
  20. calguy19
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    calguy19 New Member

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    The Lookout scanner doesn't always work. It craps out if you have too many apps on your phone, as I do. Currently I've been having pretty good luck with air push detector (free on the android market).

    Some apps put a web shortcut on your home screen, which can usually be deleted. Others can change your browser home page, which you can change back, or add links to your browser "favorites", which you can delete. In any case, this usually happens shortly after you install or update the offending app. so a little detective work can give you an idea which app(s) to delete. I then add a review of that app on the market, including pretty strong language (not permitted on this forum). Virtual Guitar just added airpush to their app, so I overwrote the update with the previous version (which I backed up), and posted a very negative user review.

    Anyone can send you a spam text msg if they have your smartphone number. There are apps on android mkt that can blacklist those numbers, but I found the main app that does that to be a battery hog, so I deleted it. I believe that for a phone that hasn't been unlocked, an airpush addon attached to an app must be installed, and if that app with that addon is uninstalled, those ads can no longer be pushed to your phone.
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