Non-Intrusive Ad Network

Hi to all of you. I’m new here but not so new in the Android market :slight_smile: I’m sure many of you are facing with one of the biggest problem when your apps are getting classified as containing “Intrusive Adware” . Myself I’m using AirPush(all the options, smart wall, push notifications, in-app banners and icon ads) .

Is this alarm “Intrusive adware” caused by only some of this options(for example only from push notifications) or the whole word “AirPush” is considered as Intrusive adware? lol

I mean if I remove the push notifications and leave only the in-app banners, will the antivirus calm down or it will be the same Intrusive adware notification?

This it pretty annoying because from the total number of downloads I get only ~10-20% of active users, most of them are instantly uninstalling the apps, which causes are pretty big revenue loss.

Or if you can please suggest any other ad network(and what ad options) are NOT considered as Intrusive Adware and can still bring some money. Please don’t mention AdMob because from what I know they pretty easy ban accounts.

Thank you very much and looking for any suggestion. Will appreciate it very much :slight_smile:

I will mention Admob… Keep using it untill u will not get banned. Actually, they dont ban u without any reason. If u play fair, then no one is going to ban u. People here use admob for 3+ years, and still keep using it. U can use as Exit-ad-Appbrain, Interstitials-Tapjoy, or Admob. These are well known adNetworks, and u will not have any virus alarms in your app.
And u can keep looking this forum for other adNetworks, for example It has good answers inside.

Just keep in mind: any out of app ads, will be recognized as a virus. Sooner or later any adNetworks that provides out-of-app ads will be flagged as virus. So, if u still want to use out-of-app ads u might be want to use some new Adnetworks, which are not flagged as virus yet.

Hey, thanks for your response and suggestion. I have a few apps with Sexy Videos. Nothing adult or explicit material, but still I’m afraid that Admob will easily ban my account.

I don’t want to use any out-of-app ads, I will gladly use ONLY the in-app banner ads from AirPush. However, after leaving only the in-app banner ads from AirPush the antivirus still shows as Intrusive Adware :frowning:

Can’t figure out the reason. How it comes that Admob banner ads are not considered as intrusive adware but the Airpush ones are :confused:

Are you using airpush’s in-app sdk? You don’t accidentally have the out of app sdk in your app do you?

Well actually I always follow the SDK documentation, not the SDK in-app documentation. Can the issues be resolved by using the last one? :slight_smile: Too good to be true, but I will try it. Thanks for opening my eyes :smiley:

I tried using the in-app sdk only and still it’s gets detected as Intrusive Adware by the AVG Antivirus Free :frowning:

It’s really frustrating because most of the users don’t understand what this means and they think this is a malware and they uninstall the app instantly. How do you fight something like this? Because really losing 80%+ of the users is super annoying.

Actually you can’t fight it. You have an option to switch to another ad network.:wink:

Since I am also planning to use Airpush in-app SDK in an update, I quickly checked if AVG Antivirus (the one you mention) was seeing it as “virus”.

It turns out it DOES …

I was going to reply to the original poster with something like this:

You need to follow the (separate) instructions and documentation for the Airpush “in-app SDK” - which are different from the regular Airpush SDK (which includes everything).

Instead, I found the original poster was RIGHT.

I had very carefully selected none of the push and icon ad stuff when “constructing” the Airpush “in-app” SDK - also I was not using the more intrusive permissions that are required for push ads etc.

And Airpush constructs an OBFUSCATED looking .jar file from that (i.e. even for the in-app SDK - perhaps a simple one that is actually attributable to Airpush would lead to LESS issues if the “in-app SDK” is actually clean ?).

YET, AVG Antivirus found the apps:

  • Airtest in-app (which is the Airpush sample app)
  • my app

Worse, there is NO INDICATION what caused this app to be seen as a threat. The text reads:

“This thread is classified as: Intrusive Adware”
“Tap ‘Uninstall’ to remove this app”
UNINSTALL (button)
Ignore this threat

I then removed my app from the test android device - making sure to “Clean Data” etc.

Compiled a new version that excluded Airpush (since I had set a static flag - this was easy to do) - the compilation optimization would make sure that Airpush was not used.

(NOTE: by the way when I was re-installing my app, AVG Antivirus showed an alert “This app is Intrusive Malware” - do you want to install this app ?)
Wow! So a not-yet scanned app was identified just by the name - I HOPE AVG is not UPLOADING what it found on my phone - and added my app to their database ALREADY (!?)
So that later if I release a CLEAN app (without Airpush) - it would CONTINUE to be classified as “bad” just based on it’s title (after all this is what TapContext does with it’s Armor for Android scan ads) ?

Anyway, ignoring this for now - said “Ignore this Alert” - so could install the app again on the android device.

Reran the app - just to make sure it’s footprint was established.

No warnings on running the app. Ok, so AVG thinks it is ok now that I said “Ignore this Alert” - hopefully this also means they are not yet uploading an indication to their server that my app (just based on it’s name) is bad …

Then reran AVG Antivirus … and re-scanned …

And voila! … the warning is gone - no longer identifying my app as “Intrusive Malware” …

I hope there has been no lasting impact of this temporary identification of the app as a “Intrusive Malware” …

So thanks to the original poster - it MAY have made me NOT include Airpush (i.e. even the “in-app SDK”) because I do not want to (at this moment) have a mature app be classified as “Intrusive Malware” (i.e. have a couple of people report in comments that - this app is a scam or whatever). Too much risk just to include Airpush ads.

What to do Airpush ?

Now this puts me in a quandary - I had really been wanting to use Airpush’s “non-intrusive” SDK version - and now they did finally separate the two (push and the “in-app SDK”). However, it seems BOTH will get your app tagged as a problem by AVG Antivirus. This is DESPITE Airpush using the “random.jar” format for creating an SDK on the fly for you. Perhaps Airpush needs to create a regularly-named .jar file - and inform the Antivirus companies that “this one” is safe - and have it tested ?

I haven’t got any bad reviews for using airpush in-app sdk. Basically the sdk is same for push/icon/smartwall/banner but when you only use banner and smartwall, the same sdk becomes in-app sdk.

Great thing this is been mentioned, no one did so far.

Since airpush released in-app SDK, there have been doubts, if anti-virus software will treat it correctly. Consensus here tended to be (that is at least my impression), that in-app sdk it is safe.

I have integrated Airpush InApp SDK about a month ago, and yes; after one month, I have got (first) 1-star VIRUS ALERT review.

As I have received virus alert review, I think there might be some (a lot?) of anti-virus software out there, that works poorly, and does not distinguish full / in-app airpush SDKs, and falsely puts both into the same basket… It may take time all this software gets updated correctly from their authors, some might never do it.

There is odd thing here: while AVG AntiVirus FREE per your tests (vadimbolun and adforandroidapps) identifies in-app sdk as a threat, my tests show, it is safe! I’ve tested my app with the same anti-virus software, that is AVG AntiVirus FREE, as you, and it found no threats! While it “correctly” identified another app with full airpush sdk (pushes, icons…) Did you update virus database, before running scan?

That is incorrect. When you download the Airpush SDK, you are given these choices:

NOTE: Your AppID is required to integrate the SDK with your application. You can retrieve the AppID from the Application Dashboard or Edit Application section.
Include In-App Ad formats (Learn More)
Include Out-of-App Ad formatsHighly Recommended (Learn More)
Include Bugsense Error Tracking (Learn More)
Include Apsalar App Analytics (Learn More)

I only clicked on the “in-app” option - leaving the others unchecked.

Then Airpush creates a “special” SDk for you (presumably for obfuscation purposes to FOOL the AVG Antivirus and such companies).

At this point the developer is made to feel they have successfully created a “clean” SDK - that does not include the taint of the other Airpush push/icon ad history/reputation/controversy with the antivirus companies.

But it seems the controversy is very much there - and it has dampened my enthusiasm for integrating Airpush considerably.

The question I have to ask is - am I prepared to answer negative comments about “virus” (so my comments section is LESS about my app and more about Airpush).

Or should I just do a replacement of Airpush with something that maybe slightly weaker even.

The decision maybe different for others - and for new apps etc. who have started using this already. But for an app that did not previously have this “problem”, it is too huge a risk - esp. given that there are alternatives.

I did not have AVG Antivirus installed on the device - I had just downloaded it now - and prior to doing the re-scan on the updated version of my app, I had done an “update” which reported AVG Antivirus is up to date.

So anyone installing a new version of this antivirus would see the same thing - I am assuming.

I was doing just same thing, after ?ve got 1-star “virus alert” review I’ve downloaded avg, updated it, and run the scan. I’ll do more testing later today, and report.

Hey guys, thanks to all of you for detailed responses and tests. I also tried the Airpush Test app that comes with the in-app SDK and before even installing it I run a virus check with AVG Antivirus Free and it turned me the Intrusive Adware notification.

I also contacted AVG support regarding this. They replied to me:
[i]"Dear customer,

thank you for your email.

Let us inform you that airpush a part of airpush SDK is true positive for adware.

Please provide us with list of detected applications for investigation. Contact please directly our virus laboratory via:

AVG | Report a false detection

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation."[/i]

The weird thing is that Avast Antivirus(which ranks on 2nd place for “antivirus” keyword) does not see AirPush as something dangerous. But since most of the users have installed the AVG Antivirus(which is ranked 1st) then this problem is very serious.

What’s your report for Current Installs vs Total Installs? For me it’s awful, I get less than 10% of active users. Since I’m offering exactly what my users are looking for then it’s getting really frustrating and I’m pretty sure that all the blame is on the antivirus who detects my apps as Intrusive Adware.

I really love airpush because they always pay, the support is great, despite the big report problems they had in the past few months.

How can we fight something like this? I don’t think AVG will ever do something about it. I guess AirPush is the one who need to do act. Because why the hell it’s Intrusive Adware when I’m using ONLY in-app banners?! Why AdMob is not detected as Intrusive Adware as well?

Ok, does AVG report that your app has virus or whatever (with Airpush banners) or not? I wish to implement their banners but if they are flagged as virus its no way for me then.

We can’t fight it. Antivirus companies are like mob. My client once had a problem with them - they clasiffied one of his applications - a virtual casino - as a “potentially dangerous” and… removed exe files of that application from users computers. Now that I think of it it was probably also AVG. The application didn’t have any viruses or trojans or anything dangerous inside, not even ads. No other antivirus detected it as virus even with heuristic methods.They proposed a complicated process of certification, maybe they waited for us to propose we pay for making it simpler or something, I don’t know. We just ignored them and informed users about this problem. I wonder if that application is still detected as a virus now…

I did some more testing with AVG but it strangely works correctly for me. My app with in-app sdk is in no way flagged by avg. The other app with airpush pushes and icons is flagged as »Intrusiva Adware«.

It is strange that same anti-virus software behaves inconsistently. Perhaps, it depends on the way the SDK is implemented, android version or some other factors.

If AVG official statement is that airpush (and that includes in-app sdk) is true positive, this speaks for itself already.

I am using an Airpush SDK downloaded/created in July 2013. Perhaps a newer created one would not have this problem ?

July-13 (also), jar file size 167.898 bytes.

My jar file size is 169.163 bytes. But it will be really weird if the problem is in it :confused:

For those who don’t get the app flagged with in-app sdk: do you follow the airpush documentation or maybe you do something in your own way?