If there is a mythical application on Google Play it is ES File Explorer. It is a file explorer that allows you to navigate through the internal and external memory of our device to access documents, photos or files generated by apps. Or rather, it allowed, since ES File Explorer has disappeared from the Android app store without a trace.
Recently, BuzzFeed reported that applications from its developer, DU Global, were committing ad fraud by pretending to be the user and clicking on advertisements. Seen what is seen, Google has removed the app from its store and suspended the developer’s account (Although it is DO Global, the account published by ES File Explorer is ES Global). DO Global, for its part, has acknowledged the problem in a statement that we reproduce in full below.
One more of the many that have already been eliminated
Last week, Google removed six DU apps for ad fraud: Selfie Camera, Total Cleaner, Smart Cooler, RAM Master, AIO Flashlight, and Omni Cleanear. In total they had more than 90 million downloads, the first being the most popular with more than 50 million. According to security researchers, these apps made “invisible clicks” on ads when they were in the backgroundNot to mention that they required a huge amount of permissions (31 in the case of AIO Flashlight).
DO Global applications have around 800 million unique users per month
If we access the website of the DO Global ad platform, we can find some data to know the scope of your applications. Their apps (among which are ES File Explorer) “have a large scale” and “cover multiple countries and regions globally.” In total, its applications have 800 million unique users and are published in the application stores by more than 50 publishers, generating a total of 3.5 billion ad requests per day.
DO Global, for its part, has published a statement on its website in which it racknowledge the problem and apologize. It says the following:
Over the past week we have noticed a number of reports about our applications in the media. We fully understand the seriousness of the complaints. As such, we immediately conducted an internal investigation into this matter. We are sorry to find irregularities in the use of some of our products from AdMob ads. Given this, we fully understand and accept Google’s decision. In addition, we have actively cooperated with them by doing a thorough examination of each application involved.
We would like to thank the media, our partners, and the public for their support. In the future, we will strictly follow the relevant regulations and continue to conduct a thorough review of our products. Lastly, during this process, we have caused misunderstandings and great concern as we are unable to communicate in a timely manner and provide complete information. We offer our sincerest apologies.
It is not the first time that we see how Google removes apps for these reasons. Recently, Chetaah Mobile also saw QuickPic, its cloud-built gallery app, removed from Google Play for no apparent reason. Likewise, she was accused of cheating to earn commissions for application installations that she had not generated with her ads, pretending that the organic installations made by the user had been achieved through her apps.
Via | Android Police