On the Google Play Store, as many as 30 fraudulent Android apps with cumulative downloads of roughly 10 million were discovered distributing malware. While posing as benign apps, their principal objective is to request rights to display windows over other apps and run in the background in order to provide invasive advertisements. To make it more difficult for victims to detect and remove the apps, adware trojans conceal their icons from the home screen’s list of installed apps or replace them with ones that are less likely to be seen. Furthermore, these apps secretly load many web pages in WebView and imitate user clicks on banner advertisements.
25+ Apps with over 10 Million Downloads on Google Play Store are Malicious: Report
In this regard, an expert in malware detection, Dr. Web said,
All of them were built into various programs, including image-editing software, virtual keyboards, system tools and utilities, calling apps, wallpaper collection apps, and others.
In addition, there is a second group of apps that distribute the Joker virus in the shape of launcher, camera, and emoji sticker apps that, when loaded, automatically subscribe users to paid mobile services.
The malicious apps found in spreading malware are listed below:
- 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)
- 4K Wallpapers Auto Changer (de.andromo.ssfiftylivesixcc)
- NewScrean: 4D Wallpapers (com.newscrean4dwallpapers.app)
- Stock Wallpapers & Backgrounds (de.stockeighty.onewallpapers)
- Notes – reminders and lists (com.notesreminderslists.app)
- Photo Editor: Beauty Filter (gb.artfilter.tenvarnist)
- Photo Editor: Retouch & Cutout (de.nineergysh.quickarttwo)
- Photo Editor: Art Filters (gb.painnt.moonlightingnine)
- Photo Editor – Design Maker (gb.twentynine.redaktoridea)
- Photo Editor & Background Eraser (de.photoground.twentysixshot)
- Photo & Exif Editor (de.xnano.photoexifeditornine)
- Photo Editor – Filters Effects (de.hitopgop.sixtyeightgx)
- Photo Filters & Effects (de.sixtyonecollice.cameraroll)
- Photo Editor : Blur Image (de.instgang.fiftyggfife)
- Photo Editor : Cut, Paste (de.fiftyninecamera.rollredactor)
- Emoji Keyboard: Stickers & GIF (gb.crazykey.sevenboard)
- Neon Theme Keyboard (com.neonthemekeyboard.app)
- Neon Theme – Android Keyboard (com.androidneonkeyboard.app)
- Cashe Cleaner (com.cachecleanereasytool.app)
- Fancy Charging (com.fancyanimatedbattery.app)
Furthermore, a malicious communications app known as “Chat Online” was also discovered on the app shop. This app dupes users into divulging their mobile phone numbers under the guise of signing up for online dating services.
Even though these apps have been removed, it’s not astonishing that the mobile malware has proved to be persistent. The criminals are continually finding new ways to circumvent Google’s security. The activation of Google Play Protect and the examination of app reviews and ratings are some of the simpler methods for protecting devices from malware.