London, Oct 26: Google has been trying hard to tackle the issue of removing apps that can harm your smartphones and are essentially adware disguised as games. Although the firm’s checking process is stringent, there have always been news of some apps making their way to the Play Store. And this time, security research firm Avast seems to have found some 21 of them. As per the report, these 21 apps are adware apps that pose themselves as games but end up damaging the handsets.
These apps apparently bombarded users with intrusive ads, which end up in huge phone bills. What’s worse is that these apps were downloaded some 8 million times in total. Also mentioned is that19 of these 21 ads where available to download while Google continues its investigation. Some of them were even serving ads outside the application.
Several reviews on the listing page mention that these apps were shown as ads on YouTube and the game which was advertised was very different from what was offered. Soon enough, the advertisements started showing up.
“Developers of adware are increasingly using social media channels, like regular marketers would. This time, users reported they were targeted with ads promoting the games on YouTube. In September we saw adware spread via TikTok. The popularity of these social networks make them an attractive advertising platform, also for cybercriminals, to target a younger audience,” said Jakub Vávra, Threat Analyst at Avast.
The security firm says that these apps were a part of the HiddenAds family. This is a type of Trojan that trigger to show several apps once it is downloaded.
And although Google is trying everything to prevent HiddenAds from entering the Play Store, these apps do end up appearing in the app market. Avast states that “users need to be vigilant when downloading applications to their phones and are advised to check the applications’ profile, reviews and to be mindful of extensive device permission requests.”
Here’s the list of apps that are found with adware.
-Helicopter Attack – NEW
-Assassin Legend – 2020 NEW
-Find 5 Differences – 2020 NEW
-Find the Differences – Puzzle Game