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From famous and "trusted" android apps to not so famous and "risky" apps:

  1. What actions can be triggered by clicking on an advertisement inside the application ?
  2. Could just that click install a virus to your smartphone or tamper with your smartphones settings, or maybe the standardization of the ads by Google Play prevent this from happening ?
  3. I have found a way to prevent URL redirection and that's by not setting the default Browser app. Therefore, when clicking to an ad, I get prompt to choose my preferred browser. If I press the back button, nothing executes or am I wrong ?
  4. Are there other actions apart from URL redirections or redirections to the Google Play store ?
  5. Does different Android Version behave differently as to clicking an ad ? if so what's the reaction for every different Android Version ?

P.S:

  • I am not looking a way to block the advertisements. I want to know the possible actions that can be triggered by clicking an ad.
  • We also assume that the smartphone is NOT rooted.
  • About 1., your balance can be deducted. That's certain (I'm a victim :D ). About 2., a drive-by download is possible though I don't know how it will be installed without user interaction. – Firelord Jun 3 '15 at 10:52
  • In addition to answer(s) that you may receive here, perhaps, it would be good if you experience the possibilities on your own. Fire up Android x86 .iso in Virtualbox/vmware and emulate the real world scenario there, or take a complete backup of your phone and then do the testing on the phone itself. Just saying. I would definitely go to such length if I had such burning question. :) – Firelord Jun 3 '15 at 11:01
  • while clicking an ad may install a new hidden app . Hidden app is one that does not create launcher icon of itself and can be harmful to your mobile. – KulArtist Jun 3 '15 at 17:43
  • @Firelord I have emulated the process of clicking an ad both in an Android PC emulator and in my smartphone. Using the emulator, clicking an ad always triggered a URL. Using my smartphone, clicking on ads triggered URL redirections and Google Play Links to apps that have to do with phone boosting. The thing I do not know is if this click triggers a process in the background which I cannot see. P.S: The app I used to click ads was Ookla SpeedTest. – pgmank Jun 4 '15 at 12:13
  • @pgmank Monitor this click process by the events in adb logcat. You'll come to know if something else is getting executed when you click those ads. – Firelord Jun 4 '15 at 14:31

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