Google removed 85 apps from Play Store after discovering that they were pushing full-screen adware to Android users.
With the rise in the mobile market, Adware has become one of the most prevalent mobile threats in the world. Adware has traditionally been used to aggressively push ads like banners or pop-ups on mobile screens to make money for its makers.
85 apps in question disguised as games, streaming TV, and remote control simulator apps in the Google Play store and had collectively been installed by 9M users globally.
Cyber security company Trend Micro spotted these apps which has the ability to bombard user devices with full-screen advertisements at regular intervals or when users unlock their device by monitoring their screen unlocking functionality.
The apps can display ads even when you are not browsing the internet, hide themselves and run in the background on infected devices.
The most popular fake app in the list was Easy Universal TV Remote, which was downloaded more than 5 million times before it was removed. The app had a solid 4-star rating from over 100k users with review section being populated with complaints from users.
Other apps included Police Chase Extreme City 3D Game, Prado Parking City 3D Game, Moto Racing, Parking Game, TV WORLD, SPORT TV, A/C Air Conditioner Remote, Garage Door Remote Control and many more.
Trend Micro researchers tested each app and discovered that though the apps came from different developers and had different APK cert public keys, most shared the same or similar code and often were similarly named.
Source: The Hacker News