Android users alert! These 17 apps have hit 550,000 devices, uninstall them right now
In the latest case, as many as 17 apps have been identified hiding their presence on devices and showing aggressive ads to user
The Google Play Store and apps on it are back in the news for their harmful activities. In the latest case, as many as 17 apps have been identified hiding their presence on devices and showing aggressive ads to users. According to a report by Romanian cybersecurity and anti-virus software company Bitdefender, these apps have been downloaded over 550,000 times and are still on several smartphones.
While the apps cannot be classified as malware and do not harm the users directly, they are a big distraction as they show multiple ads on devices. These apps can be classified as "riskware." All of them have found their way to the Google Play Store by bypassing Google's vetting system. This can be done using techniques like "waiting 48 hours before hiding their presence on the device, splitting the app's code into multiple resource files, and holding off displaying ads until 4 hours after app installation."
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Here are the 17 apps identified -
Car Racing 2019
4K Wallpaper (Background 4K Full HD)
Backgrounds 4K HD
QR Code Reader & Barcode Scanner Pro
File Manager Pro - Manager SD Card/Explorer
VMOWO City: Speed Racing 3D
Screen Stream Mirroring
QR Code - Scan & Read a Barcode
Period Tracker - Cycle Ovulation Women's
QR & Barcode Scan Reader
Wallpapers 4K, Backgrounds HD
Transfer Data Smart
Explorer File Manager
Today Weather Radar
Mobnet.io: Big Fish Frenzy
These apps show random but regular ads on Android smartphones. They use a job scheduling system to decide when and which ad is shown. Most of these ads appear when the users unlock their smartphone or press buttons to activate the phone. Bitdefender has reported all 17 apps to Google and they are being removed from the store.
Till then, you will be better served by removing these apps from your smartphones.