Mobile App Terminology

Install hijacking

What is install hijacking?

Install hijacking refers to a type of mobile ad fraud in which fraudsters use malware, generally embedded within an app, to infect a user’s device and hijack attribution for an app install. Install hijacking is a broad term for this type of mobile fraud and is also referred to as “click hijacking,” “click injection,” and “referrer hijacking.”

How install hijacking works?

As opposed to mobile fraud from bots or device farms, install hijacking involves real installs from real users, although the install attribution is compromised by malware. Specifically, when a user is about to install an app, the malware detects this activity and sends a fake click to mobile measurement partners (MMPs) in order to steal credit for the organic install. 

In order to picture this type of mobile ad fraud in real terms, Intercept provides the following imaginary scenario as an example of how install hijacking works

Imagine that you’re waiting in-line at the bank for your number to be called. The bank-teller calls out “number forty-four.” You quickly get up, with your ticket number ‘44’ in hand. Immediately after, a person with a fake ticket swoops in and takes your spot. The bank teller looks up, and sees the person with the fake ticket last, assumes that the person is genuine and therefore, ushers him to your seat.

The majority of the time, this malware is hidden in seemingly legitimate apps, so the user doesn’t detect anything different with their install experience. In order to prevent this type of mobile fraud, advertisers turn to fraud prevention tools from attribution providers like Singular.

Keep your user acquisition campaigns fraud free!

We’ll show you how Singular makes it easy

How Singular prevents install hijacking?

As a leader in mobile ad fraud detection and prevention, Singular is designed to help advertisers keep their ad budgets focused on high-quality users with an always-on fraud detection. We’re always on the alert for suspicious installs, too many installs from the same device or network or IP address, and many other flags for potential bad behavior.

For example, using Singular’s mobile ad fraud customers have been able to see:

  • 25% ad budget saving by preventing fraud before attribution reaches your reporting
  • 2x more optimization efficiency with a suite of reports that dive into fraudulent activity
  • 90% decrease in suspicious traffic by using 50+ fraud detection and prevention techniques
  • Customized strategies to block fraud with the use of custom rules across a range of parameters tailored to your specific needs

At no extra charge, Singular customers get access to a single, holistic platform for blocking and preventing fraud. In addition to fraud prevention, Singular provides advertisers a suite of tools to help them get the most of their ad budgets including tools for marketing analytics, mobile attribution, cost aggregation, ad monetization, and more.

Related Terms

Related Articles

Related Terms

Stay up to date on the latest happenings in digital marketing