Rank fraud

The commercial success of Android app markets such as Google Play and the incentive model offered, make them appealing targets for fraudulent and malicious behaviours. Some SEO black hats boost the search rank and popularity of their apps through fake reviews and bogus installation counts, while the usual suspects use app markets as a launch pad for their malware. For both, app popularity surges translates into financial gain and malware proliferation.

Blackhats exploit crowdsourcing sites like Freelancer, Fiverr, and BestAppPromotion to hire teams of willing workers to commit fraud collectively, emulating realistic, spontaneous activities from unrelated people.