Can the SDK detect an AdView with a WebView on the same activity screen?

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Netlinkd

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Jul 23, 2020, 8:37:24 AM7/23/20
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Hi, can the SDK detect an AdView with a WebView on the same activity screen and trigger a policy violation? Let's say the app only loads a website in the WebView that is owned by the app owner and cannot/does not link to other websites inside the same WebView. For example, is it possible that some users could abuse this and change the URL somehow from the WebView loading an external website and triggering a "Framed Sites" policy violation?

Thanks

Mobile Ads SDK Forum Advisor Prod

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Jul 23, 2020, 10:33:51 AM7/23/20
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Hi Netlinkd,

Thank you for bringing this question to us.

Let me try to answer this as best I can.The use of WebView in your app with a website owned by you would not cause any issues with the system. As many apps do this very thing. If the system parses through your app asmost of these stores I assume do. Then yes it would be able to find an AdView and a WebView in an app.

The issue though may arise from a few other things that your website may have exposed you to. Or even that your app just got hacked.
  • Javascript injection, someone found that you have your website within the app. And then went to your website and injected malicious JS into it to allow them to access another site. Or place ads into the site so that they can view them on their app. Or even had a redirect to a website of there design that they can then profit on.
  • Is it possible your app got hacked? Yes, again it is possible as there are many pieces of software out their designed to reverse apps for many reasons.
  • One of the other things you would need to be careful of is ads showing on both the app(Outside of the WebView) and website at the same time. As that is not allowed.
  • The fact that you are getting an iFrame violation would tend to make me believe that somehow another website is being displayed or mirrored in your app.

Regards,
William Pescherine
Mobile Ads SDK Team

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Netlinkd

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Jul 23, 2020, 10:59:43 AM7/23/20
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Hi William,

Thank you for your response! I know for sure that my website page was not hacked or altered in any way, it is just a simple hardcoded static page to inform users of new features about the app, no ads on this page.
About my app being reverse engineered/hacked - yes, I agree that is a possibility as this can be done quite easily.

So the way I see it is that anyone could get my account disabled if they wanted to, by triggering policy violations, which is probably what happened in my case. While it was probably a bad idea to add an ad on the same screen with my WebView (there's a lot of space between them, I removed the ad in 1-2 days after adding it), now I realize that I cannot really prevent policy violations at all and there is no guarantee of anything.

So how do we developers protect our AdMob account from being terminated? The only way I can prove it that it was not me causing the policy violation is maybe through my GitHub code history, but my appeal was already rejected and we can only use one, all the other are ignored, even though I think that even my first one was ignored and I just received an automated reply. Is there anything that I can do now to get my account back? I find this very frustrating, I know that I did not do anything wrong but Google probably has no way or probably will not bother investigating who actually caused the policy violation.

How does the system know that the website is owned by the app's owner? Perhaps it thought that it does not belong to me?

I would also like to understand something - my account was suddenly disabled saying I violated the "Framed Sites" policy but normally I think I should've had a warning first saying that there's an issue with one of my apps before actually shutting down my account like that. It's as if something really serious triggered it, could you please tell me a few things that could trigger a sudden account ban? Or is "Framed Sites" policy enough to trigger it?

Thanks!

Roykhan Fahmi

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Jul 23, 2020, 11:11:55 AM7/23/20
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Mobile Ads SDK Forum Advisor Prod

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Jul 23, 2020, 11:49:26 AM7/23/20
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HI Netlinkd,

Thank you for replying back and again I will try my best to answer your questions as best I can.

Without knowledge of either your app , website, or the exact things Google did as far as emails or warnings., I will give the best answers I can. So yeah i can not say what would cause an issue with your website and the app to cause the "iFrame Violation" someone I believe should have said the reason with that.

Again is it possible? Yes, And yes it is harder for a smaller developer to protect as usually company's spend millions on just security. But one thing you could try is to have more of your stuff posted in the cloud so that it sits behind a little more security as opposed to locally within the code. Server side rendering is one thing to think about in the future if using a website in app. Might help. Ways to protect yourself or prove? Try adding Git into your workflow? As then you have some version control also which might help to show your intent.

As for Google and the appeals that is completely out of our hands. Other than what we have already advised there is absolutely nothing we can do on our end. I know of nothing else also that can be done beyond the appeal. Or trying to contact someone who might have sent you one of the emails.

Also same here for the no warning and just ban. This is done by a completely different team of which we have no information about and I couldn't even begin to try to explain it as I have no knowledge of what they do.

Regards,
William Pescherine
Mobile Ads SDK

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Mobile Ads SDK Forum Advisor Prod

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Jul 23, 2020, 1:32:13 PM7/23/20
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Hi Roykhan,

Thank you for posting on this forum.

Is there something that we can help you with? If you could give us a better idea or description of the issue that you are having we would be happy to help you. 

Also if you would like a little more focused attention to your issue. We would suggest starting a new post so that we can focus on specifically you and your issue.

Regards,
William Pescherine
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