New Delhi: Google has removed at least 22 apps from the Play Store that were engaged in click fraud. Of the 22 apps, one of them was a popular app with over a million downloads.Also Read - LIVE Google Pixel 7 Launch Event: Pixel 7 Pro Expected Price, Specs And Other Details

Apart from engaging in click fraud, the apps contained malicious code and were discovered by Sophos. These apps also had the capability to retrieve malicious files from their servers and used up a significantly high amount of data as well as battery power. Also Read - Google Rolls Out Widgets For iOS 16 Lock Screen on iPhones | Details Here

The ads were retrieved even while the apps were not being actively being used and generated a ‘click’ response on behalf of users, robbing the legitimate advertisers of a significant amount of ad revenue. Also Read - 'Don't Equate Fun With Money': Google CEO Sundar Pichai Tells Employees Amid Cost Cuts, Layoff Conditions

For the uninitiated, click fraud is a type of fraud that occurs on the Internet in pay-per-click (PPC) online advertising. In this type of advertising, the owners of websites that post the ads are paid an amount of money determined by how many visitors to the sites click on the ads.

Cheetah Mobile’s CM File Manager and Kika Tech’s Kika Keyboard apps were the first to be removed from the Play Store after they were found running ad click fraud.

Following is a list of the apps that have been kicked out from the Play Store:

  1. Sparkle FlashLight
  2. Snake Attack
  3. Math Solver
  4. ShapeSorter
  5. Tak A Trip
  6. Magnifeye
  7. Join Up
  8. Zombie Killer
  9. Space Rocket
  10. Neon Pong
  11. Just Flashlight
  12. Table Soccer
  13. Cliff Diver
  14. Box Stack
  15. Jelly Slice
  16. AK Blackjack
  17. Colour Tiles
  18. Animal Match
  19. Roulette Mania
  20. HexaFall
  21. HexaBlocks
  22. PairZap

In a statement last week, Google said it takes “deceptive and malicious behaviour” on the platform very seriously.