Photo: S3studio/Getty Images

125 Android apps have been caught up in an Android ad fraud scheme that possibly stole hundreds of millions of dollars worth of ad dollars, according to a BuzzFeed News investigation by Craig Silverman. A fraud detection firm, Pixalate, first caught on to the plot in June.

What happened: People sold their legitimate apps to a company called We Purchase Apps, but were quickly transferred to shell companies and the human users on the legitimate apps had their behavior tracked unwittingly. Fraudsters then programmed that information to create a bot network that would be used to generate fake traffic that effectively stole ad dollars from advertisers.

Impact: This means millions of Android users who downloaded these apps, some of which were targeted at children, had their app use tracked.

The tech: Because the bot networks mimicked human behaviors, they bypassed fraud detection programs.

The big picture: This highlights the potential downfalls in the digital advertising world; brands can be duped out of sizable sums of money, and fraud detection schemes may need to become more sophisticated to try preventing massive fraud plots like this in the future. It further raises questions about how rigorously and frequently app stores review their apps and developers — Apple has also been under fire for an app that covertly transferred data to China.

Go deeper: Read the full BuzzFeed News investigation

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Updated 30 mins ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it's too early to say whether next month's elections will be postponed after she announced Tuesday four people had tested positive for COVID-19 after no local cases for 102 days.

Zoom in: NZ's most populous city, Auckland, has gone on lockdown for 72 hours and the rest of the country is under lesser restrictions.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 20,188,678 — Total deaths: 738,668 — Total recoveries: 12,452,126Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 5,138,850 — Total deaths: 164,480 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. States: Georgia reports 137 coronavirus deaths, setting new daily record Florida reports another daily record for deaths.
  4. Health care: Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: Moderna reveals it may not hold patent rights for vaccine.
  6. Sports: Big Ten scraps fall football season.

Voters cast ballots in Minnesota, Georgia, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Vermont

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Primary elections are being held on Tuesday in Minnesota, Georgia, Connecticut, Vermont and Wisconsin.

The big picture: Georgia and Wisconsin both struggled to hold primaries during the coronavirus pandemic, but are doing so again — testing their voting systems ahead of the general election. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is facing a strong challenger as she fights for her political career. In Georgia, a Republican primary runoff pits a QAnon supporter against a hardline conservative.