What is SDK Spoofing Fraud?

SDK spoofing is a type of ad fraud that manipulates app SDKs (software development kits) to commit mobile advertising fraud. It involves attackers mimicking real apps and devices to generate fraudulent ad revenue from ad networks. 

Spoofing has become a major issue in recent years as a sophisticated means for ad fraudsters to steal ad dollars. It works by spoofing legitimate apps and masking fraudulent app activity to ad networks.

How to Know About SDK Spoofing

There are a few key signals that may indicate SDK spoofing fraud:

  • Spikes in app installs or engagement from suspicious sources
  •  Apps with high volumes of ad requests but low retention and usage
  • Traffic and installs from unknown or suspicious ad sources
  • Ads shown to a high percentage of abnormal device IDs
  •  Clustering of device IDs in unknown regions

These signals require further investigation but may point to SDK spoofing fraud in your app or ad campaigns. App developers should be on high alert for any abnormal app performance metrics.

How SDK Spoofing Works? 

The SDK spoofing process involves:

Step 1. Reverse engineering the code of a legitimate app with an SDK.

Step 2. Extracting the app’s unique ID keys.

Step 3. Modifying the code and keys.

Step 4. Repackaging into a spoof app with the same ad SDK code.

Step 5. Distributing spoof apps via app stores and ad networks

This allows the spoof apps to mimic the identifiers of real apps and bypass fraud detection. The spoof apps can then flood ad requests to networks and collect fraudulent ad revenue.

How to Block Spoofing Fraud?

Here are some tips to detect and prevent SDK spoofing,

  • Monitor metrics closely for any suspicious shifts
  • Vet new ad sources thoroughly before enabling 
  • Use fraud detection platforms to identify spoofing
  • Disable high-risk ad sources quickly if needed
  • Update SDKs frequently to stay ahead of reverse engineering
  • Consider using unique device IDs vs. standard ones
  • Work closely with ad networks on fraud prevention

With vigilance and fraud prevention systems, app developers can minimize the risks and impact of SDK spoofing. This prevents wasted ad spend and maintains the integrity of app monetization.


Q1: What are 3 common types of spoofing?

A1: 3 common types of spoofing are Caller ID, SMS, and email spoofing.

Q2: How do you know if your phone has been spoofed? 

A2: You will get calls or texts from your own number if your phone has been spoofed.

Q3: What to do if your phone is being used for spoofing?

A3: Contact your phone carrier immediately if you suspect that your phone is being spoofed. 

Q4: What are the codes to see if your phone is tapped?

A4: Dial *#21# to check for call forwarding. 

Q5: How do you know if someone is listening to your phone calls? 

A5: If you hear clicks, echoes, or background noises on calls, it could be a sign that someone is eavesdropping on your calls.

Orvill Samanta
Orvill Samanta

An app marketer with over 6 years of experience in the tech industry. I have developed a strong passion for apps and love to create engaging and informative content around it. When not talking about marketing, I binge-watch anime series and read comic books. My keen eye for technology has helped me captivate my audience and increase engagement with my work.