As a result of the recent investigation into the Google Play Store, researchers discovered adware and malware that steals information from users. At least five of the apps were still available when they were discovered last month, and have more than two million downloads.
Infections of adware can produce a variety of unwanted advertisements that are extremely annoying. As they can create obstacles for the users in several forms like:-
- They are intrusive
- They could degrade the user experience
- Fully drain your device battery
- Heat up your device
- Cause unauthorized charges
The aim of these malicious applications is to gather money for remote operators as a result of forcing the victim to view and click on affiliated ads in order to receive money. As a result, they hide from the host device and try to make themselves appear to be something else or legit.
Malicious apps infiltrated Google Play Store
The cybersecurity researchers at Dr. Web antivirus have claimed that among the top Android threats in May 2022 were adware apps and Trojans that steal personal and financial information.
Spyware applications that allow one app to steal information from other apps’ notifications is at the top of the list. Their primary intention is to snoop on the push notifications of other apps as a means of snatching one-time 2FA codes (OTP) and taking over the account.
Here below we have mentioned the five apps that have managed to infiltrate the security mechanism of the Google Play Store and are still available for download:-
- PIP Pic Camera Photo Editor: It’s malware (Android.PWS.Facebook.142) that has 1 million downloads.
- Wild & Exotic Animal Wallpaper: It’s adware (Android.HiddenAds.3158) that has 500,000 downloads.
- ZodiHoroscope – Fortune Finder: It’s a malware (Android.PWS.Facebook.141) that has 500,000 downloads.
- PIP Camera 2022: It’s a Facebook account hijacker (Android.PWS.Facebook.143) that has 50,000 downloads.
- Magnifier Flashlight: It’s an adware (Android.HiddenAds.3161) that has 10,000 downloads.
There were also some other potential threats detected by Dr. Web’s antivirus team there on the Play Store in May 2022, including:-
- A racing game
- A deleted image recovery tool
- A fake state compensation app
- A “free access” app for the Only Fans platform
As of today, these applications have been removed from the Google Play Store, but users who have downloaded them must also uninstall them from their device.
On top of any of this, the cybersecurity experts have strongly recommended users immediately to run a complete antivirus scan as well in order to remove any residuals.