What is a Device Farm?
A device farm is a location wherein criminals repeat actions – such as clicks, registrations, installs and engagement – to create the illusion of legitimate activity, draining advertising budgets.
Device farms maintained for the purposes of ad fraud are illegal in much of the world. As mobile advertising budgets have grown, device farms dedicated to mobile fraud have grown increasingly common. These device farms, also called phone farms or click farms, are used to create fraudulent clicks, install and mobile engagement, as well as fake social media followings, and inflate app store download counts, ratings and reviews.
Savvy device farmers use a variety of tactics to hide their activity, including hiding behind fresh IP addresses, using a broad variety of devices, while either enabling Limit Ad Tracking or hiding behind DeviceID Reset Fraud (resetting their DeviceIDs with each install). When perpetrated at scale, this fraud is also known as DeviceID Reset Marathons. Though often portrayed in the media as an Asian fraud type, device farms exist around the world and drain marketing budgets in every region.
The only real-time protection against device farms currently available on the market is DeviceRank.