Mobile Ads Can Hijack Your Phone And Steal Your Contacts

Source: Erin Kim / CNN Money

NEW YORK – Those pesky pop-up ads from the ’90s are back, but this time they’re holding your smartphone hostage.

Tens of thousands of smartphone apps are running ads from rogue advertising networks that change smartphone settings and take contact information without permission, according to a new study released Monday.

Aggressive ad networks can disguise ads as text message notifications or app icons, and sometimes change browser settings and bookmarks. Often, the ads will upload your contacts list to the ad network’s servers — information the ad network can then sell to marketers

Sounds scary? It’s not a giant problem yet, but it’s a growing one. As many as 5% of free mobile apps use an “aggressive” ad network to make money, according to Lookout, a San Francisco-based mobile security company.

To read this article in its entirety visit CNN Money.

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