Virus in App?

blairh

macrumors 601
Original poster
Dec 11, 2007
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Lately I'm getting this pop up when using the app TheScore. What is causing this? Any way to fix this? Really strange.
 

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ardchoille50

macrumors 68020
Feb 6, 2014
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Lately I'm getting this pop up when using the app TheScore. What is causing this? Any way to fix this? Really strange.
More likely it's an advertisement that uses javascript to show a popup window. Just another form of spam in my opinion.
 

blairh

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Original poster
Dec 11, 2007
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ardchoille50

macrumors 68020
Feb 6, 2014
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It is not the news app. It is a sports app called TheScore, which I stated in my original post.


https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/thescore-sports-scores-news/id285692706?mt=8

It might be worth pointing out that I live in Massachusetts and this pop up makes reference of my state.
An adblocker won't be of any help outside Safari, the content blocker API is not available to other apps, unless you use a VPN app. However, keep in mind that using a VPN app routes all of your traffic through someone else's server, which they can use to capture everything you do.

I still think this is a cleverly-made advertisement that uses javascript to open a popup window.
 

blairh

macrumors 601
Original poster
Dec 11, 2007
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An adblocker won't be of any help outside Safari, the content blocker API is not available to other apps, unless you use a VPN app. However, keep in mind that using a VPN app routes all of your traffic through someone else's server, which they can use to capture everything you do.

I still think this is a cleverly-made advertisement that uses javascript to open a popup window.
How can this be an ad when I can't X out of it? When this pops up I'm stuck either hitting 'ok' and being redirected out of the app or I must exit the app and remove it from my recently opened apps.
 

decafjava

macrumors 68040
Feb 7, 2011
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I'd delete the app and contact the devs and leave a poor review on the app store. Really poor of them to allow this type of unblockable spam.
 
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ardchoille50

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Feb 6, 2014
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How can this be an ad when I can't X out of it? When this pops up I'm stuck either hitting 'ok' and being redirected out of the app or I must exit the app and remove it from my recently opened apps.
Yes, the advertisement is specifically designed to force you to click 'OK', that's the reason this type of advertisement exists - to force you to see the advertised content.

You've already stated two choices (click OK or remove and relaunch the app), but there is a third choice. Stop using that app and instead install a content blocker and use Safari to get the sports info you desire. Using Safari will go a long way toward avoiding this type of experience.
 
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blairh

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Dec 11, 2007
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Yes, the advertisement is specifically designed to force you to click 'OK', that's the reason this type of advertisement exists - to force you to see the advertised content.

You've already stated two choices (click OK or remove and relaunch the app), but there is a third choice. Stop using that app and instead install a content blocker and use Safari to get the sports info you desire. Using Safari will go a long way toward avoiding this type of experience.
Again, I don't think this ad should be appearing within this app. In fact I've contacted the company and they have asked me via email how long this has been happening and where within the app I am seeing this. If this was normal behavior they would have said so.

In my years of using smartphones I have never encountered something of this nature. Every ad has allowed me to exit out of it within the app. Being forced to click 'ok' is not normal.

Yeah, that's a horrible third option. I love this app and no mobile sports website will replicate the experience I have with it. I'm confident I will find some sort of solution (either by the app maker taking action or someone else helping me).
 

ardchoille50

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Feb 6, 2014
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Again, I don't think this ad should be appearing within this app. In fact I've contacted the company and they have asked me via email how long this has been happening and where within the app I am seeing this. If this was normal behavior they would have said so.

In my years of using smartphones I have never encountered something of this nature. Every ad has allowed me to exit out of it within the app. Being forced to click 'ok' is not normal.

Yeah, that's a horrible third option. I love this app and no mobile sports website will replicate the experience I have with it. I'm confident I will find some sort of solution (either by the app maker taking action or someone else helping me).
You're right it's not normal. It's a maliciously-crafted advertisement and I've heard numerous people with this exact same experience having this problem in Safari - a problem that disappeared after users install and use a content blocker. I help out on several iOS/OS X forums as well as IRC and I've seen this too many times to count. The ability to 'X' out of an advertisement is normal behavior, but spammers do not conform to the rules of logic or respect for others.

Yes, contact that company, they will likely investigate and eject an ad or two from their advertisement rotation. But, this ad trick is popular lately among spammers, I have no doubt that you'll be seeing it again. The problem is that the content provider has no way of knowing whether or not an advertisement is crafted in this manner until users begin to report the problem. But, by that time the damage is already done.
 

blairh

macrumors 601
Original poster
Dec 11, 2007
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You're right it's not normal. It's a maliciously-crafted advertisement and I've heard numerous people with this exact same experience having this problem in Safari - a problem that disappeared after users install and use a content blocker. I help out on several iOS/OS X forums as well as IRC and I've seen this too many times to count. The ability to 'X' out of an advertisement is normal behavior, but spammers do not conform to the rules of logic or respect for others.

Yes, contact that company, they will likely investigate and eject an ad or two from their advertisement rotation. But, this ad trick is popular lately among spammers, I have no doubt that you'll be seeing it again. The problem is that the content provider has no way of knowing whether or not an advertisement is crafted in this manner until users begin to report the problem. But, by that time the damage is already done.
Am I correct in assuming the spammer has targeted this app specifically? Also can you explain how the ad knows what state I live in? The spammer has a way of accessing my IP address?
 

ardchoille50

macrumors 68020
Feb 6, 2014
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Am I correct in assuming the spammer has targeted this app specifically? Also can you explain how the ad knows what state I live in? The spammer has a way of accessing my IP address?
Doubtful, it's more likely that the advertisements in question are included in the offerings from an ad agency and the app you're using just happens to be subscribed to that agency to provides ads. Given the proliferation of this type of advertisement, it's going to be difficult to avoid them without some type of content blocking mechanism.

As far as your location is concerned, there are many ways to glean the location of a user - the two that immediately come to mind are a) user viewing habits and b) device location services. If that app includes social network functionality (link to Facebook/Twitter or has a location setting in its settings), then this could also be used to provide location information.
 

blairh

macrumors 601
Original poster
Dec 11, 2007
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Doubtful, it's more likely that the advertisements in question are included in the offerings from an ad agency and the app you're using just happens to be subscribed to that agency to provides ads. Given the proliferation of this type of advertisement, it's going to be difficult to avoid them without some type of content blocking mechanism.

As far as your location is concerned, there are many ways to glean the location of a user - the two that immediately come to mind are a) user viewing habits and b) device location services. If that app includes social network functionality (link to Facebook/Twitter or has a location setting in its settings), then this could also be used to provide location information.
The ad agency used by this app should not be allowed to do this, correct? I can't imagine the app makers are happy with this happening to their users.
 

ardchoille50

macrumors 68020
Feb 6, 2014
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The ad agency used by this app should not be allowed to do this, correct? I can't imagine the app makers are happy with this happening to their users.
I agree, ad agencies in general should not be allowed to do this. However, I'm suspicious that some of the ad agencies get paid to 'turn their head' where malicious advertisements are concerned.

Oh, app developers are not happy with this, not happy at all. This type of thing negatively impacts their users to the point that some of them abandon their app and use a content blocker in Safari to get the same content - the end result is less advertising dollars for the developer. This is why it's always good to contact the developer and report this type of issue. The issue can be mitigated, but only after the fact.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
50,312
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How can this be an ad when I can't X out of it? When this pops up I'm stuck either hitting 'ok' and being redirected out of the app or I must exit the app and remove it from my recently opened apps.
Since when do pop ups in iOS have an 'X' to get out of them?
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I'd delete the app and contact the devs and leave a poor review on the app store. Really poor of them to allow this type of unblockable spam.
It's not likely the app per second but the ad network that is being used that somehow has an ad like that that slipped through.
 
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blairh

macrumors 601
Original poster
Dec 11, 2007
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Since when do pop ups in iOS have an 'X' to get out of them?
[doublepost=1463943133][/doublepost]
I'm referring to ads in iOS. I've never encountered pop ups in iOS before, until now.
 
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