Sunday, February 05, 2012

Lookout Security releases 'Push Ad' Detector

Highly regarded mobile security firm Lookout Security has just released a "Push Ad" detector. The free app will detect any apps on your device that contain code to ad networks that can push ads to your Android notification bar, push ad-enabled search icons to your device's desktop, or make setting modifications to your mobile browser.

You might recall a story we recently published, detailing Japanese carrier KDDI's moves into pushing ads to the notification bar of Android devices.

Push Ad Detector currently detects the following six ad networks, which Lookout says are ther ones that use the most aggressive push ad techniques.
  • Airpush
  • Appenda
  • LeadBolt
  • Moolah Media
  • Startapp
  • TapIt!
Note: just because an app includes the code from one or more of these networks does not mean that the app is actually using the push ad technology. It will still be detected by the Push Ad Detector, however.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2012
Once the Push Ad Detector finds an app that integrates one of these ad networks, if possible, it will display a link enabling an end user to opt out of the ad network. Note the words "if possible."

If there is no opt-out link for the network, a user will need to remove the app to effectively opt-out. Push Ad Detector also provides a shortcut to the Application Details page for the app, from which a simple "uninstall" tap can be used to remove the app manually.

Although Lookout is a security company, this isn't a malware detecting app. It could be categorized as an adware detecting app, instead.

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