These 28+ Android apps with 10 million downloads from Play Store contain malware

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No less than 30 malicious Android apps with cumulative downloads of nearly 10 million were found on the Google Play Store distributing adware.

“All of them have been integrated into various programs, including image editing software, virtual keyboards, system tools and utilities, calling apps, wallpaper collecting apps, and more,” said said Dr.Web. said in a Tuesday article.

While posing as harmless apps, their main purpose is to ask permissions to display windows on other apps and run in the background in order to deliver intrusive advertisements.

To make it harder for victims to detect and uninstall apps, adware trojans hide their icons from the list of installed apps on the home screen or replace icons with others that are likely to be less noticeable (e.g. example, SIM Toolkit).

cyber security

Some of these apps also offer the advertised functionality as seen in the case of two apps: “Water Reminder- Tracker & Reminder” and “Yoga- For Beginner to Advanced”. However, they also secretly load various websites into WebView and simulate user actions to click on banners and advertisements.

Another set of apps distributing the Joker malware in the form of launcher, camera, and emoji sticker apps that, once installed, subscribe users to paid mobile services without their knowledge or consent, was also discovered.

Google Play Store

The third category of rogue apps are those that pose as image editing software but, in reality, are designed to break into Facebook accounts.

“During the launch, they asked potential victims to log into their accounts and then loaded a real Facebook authorization page,” Dr.Web researchers said. “Then they hijacked the authentication data and sent it to malicious actors.”

  • Photo editor: beauty filter (gb.artfilter.tenvarnist)
  • Photo editor: retouch and crop (de.nineergysh.quickarttwo)
  • Photo editor: artistic filters (gb.painnt.moonlightingnine)
  • Photo Editor – Design Creator (gb.twentynine.redaktoridea)
  • Photo editor and background eraser (de.photoground.twentysixshot)
  • Photo & Exif Editor (de.xnano.photoexifeditornine)
  • Photo Editor – Filters Effects (de.hitopgop.sixtyeightgx)
  • Photo filters and effects (de.sixtyonecollice.cameraroll)
  • Photo Editor: Blur Image (de.instgang.fiftyggfife)
  • Photo Editor: Cut, Paste (de.fiftyninecamera.rollredactor)
  • Emoji Keyboard: Stickers and GIFs (gb.crazykey.sevenboard)
  • Neon Theme Keyboard (com.neonthemekeyboard.app)
  • Neon Theme – Android Keyboard (com.androidneonkeyboard.app)
  • Cashe Cleaner (com.cachecleanereasytool.app)
  • Fancy Loading (com.fancyanimatedbattery.app)
  • FastCleaner: Cashe Cleaner (com.fastcleanercashecleaner.app)
  • Call Skins – Caller Themes (com.rockskinthemes.app)
  • Funny Caller (com.funnycallercustomtheme.app)
  • CallMe Phone Themes (com.callercallwallpaper.app)
  • InCall: contact background (com.mycallcustomcallscrean.app)
  • MyCall – Call Personalization (com.mycallcallpersonalization.app)
  • Caller theme (com.caller.theme.slow)
  • Caller theme (com.callertheme.firstref)
  • Funny Wallpapers – Live Screen (com.funnywallpapaerslive.app)
  • Auto Wallpaper Changer 4K (de.andromo.ssfiftylivesixcc)
  • NewScrean: 4D Wallpapers (com.newscrean4dwallpapers.app)
  • Wallpapers and Backgrounds (de.stockeighty.onewallpapers)
  • Notes – reminders and lists (com.notesreminderslists.app)

Last but not least, a malicious communication app known as “Chat Online” has also been spotted on the app’s storefront, which tricks users into providing their mobile phone numbers under the guise of signing up for services. online dating.

In a different version of the same malware, a seemingly real conversation is started, only for the app to prompt users to pay for premium access to continue the chat, incurring fraudulent charges.

cyber security

While these apps have been purged, it’s no surprise that mobile malware has proven resilient, with criminal actors constantly finding new ways to circumvent the protections put in place by Google.

Users are advised to exercise caution when it comes to downloading apps, Google Play or otherwise, and refrain from granting extended permissions to apps. To light up Google PlayProtect and scrutinizing app reviews and ratings are other ways to protect devices from malware.

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