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Android Adware In Google's Front Yard: 100M+ Users Possibly Impacted

16 March 2019

The adware carrying app campaign once again highlights the need for Android users to peruse the reviews accompanying an application prior to downloading one. Once a user downloads the app, the malware will hijack the device and show advertisements to enrich the makers.

There is ongoing speculation that nearly 150 million Android phone users who installed an app may be facing a malware attack. About 10 percent of the apps tested appeared to come from amateur developers more focused on advertising and monetization than security. For example, if you want to get Showbox or Vidmate, mainstream Android app stores can't provide you with them, while Aptoide can.

Security researchers have discovered a new form of adware buried in more than 200 hundred Android apps listed in the Google Play Store that may have infected in excess of 100 million users.

Android apps that asked for "dangerous" permissions included those downloaded millions of times from the Google Play Store. It was found that numerous antivirus apps instead of scanning the apps, simply used a whitelist/blacklist approach based on package names than relying on the code for deciding whether an app is unsafe or harmless. It could also send users to the Play Store or other markets where infected apps were available. In fact, a new APK update for the Google Play Store was released yesterday.

Boris Cipot, senior security engineer at Synopsys Inc, . also advised users not to download any unknown apps or apps from unknown providers, at least not immediately.

Check Point thought that the makers deceived app developers into using the malicious SDK. They automated the device, directing it to download and install known malware apps from the browser. So to find effective antivirus products, AV-Comparatives suggests you stick with well-known, reputable vendors.

These apps even detected themselves as malicious. That will allow you to see settings such as internet connectivity, NFC, and audio volume without leaving the app you're in.

Many of these apps are created with the same developer making some of them have a similar interface instead of showing a fully running malware scanner. The update about the affected apps revealed that they were mostly a shooter and racing games. Android Q will allow apps to request those special effects so they aren't limited to camera apps. Majority reduce the efficiency of your phone, consume a lot of battery, annoy you with notifications and take up a lot of your storage.

Android Adware In Google's Front Yard: 100M+ Users Possibly Impacted