Several Android apps were once again discovered to be hiding malware. The apps have been removed from the Play Store, but they have already raked in hundreds of millions of downloads.
Adware In Android Apps
In recent months, there have been multiple reports of malware hiding in Android apps that have been downloaded by users millions of times. In these latest reports, six more Android apps were found to be infected with adware, and this time, the apps have been downloaded over 500 million times.
First, security researcher Andy Michael reported four Android VPN apps that are infected with adware. Together, HotSpot VPN, Secure VPN, Free VPN Master, and CM Security Applock AntiVirus have been downloaded over 500 million times, and all four were discovered to have adware that bombards users with unwanted apps.
A second warning came from Wanders security researchers who also discovered adware in two selfie apps, Sun Pro Beauty Camera and Funny Sweet Beauty Selfie Camera. These two apps, which have been downloaded 1.5 million times, push full-screen ads to its users, sometimes even after the app has been closed. What’s more, the two apps were found to be recording audio without the users’ permission, pushing fake system alerts, installing shortcuts, and automatically installing after a restart.
These apps have already been removed from the Google Play Store, and anyone who downloaded any of the said apps is advised to delete them immediately.
While it seems as though adware just causes inconvenience compared to other types of malware deemed more ominous, users must still be wary of them. Adware interrupts users’ activity, drains the devices’ batteries, or even redirect users to NSFW websites. In severe cases, some users even have to replace their devices completely.
Users must remember that adware is still malware that hides in devices to serve its users with unwanted advertisements while disguising itself as legitimate apps or programs. All the while, creators of such malware earn money from the nuisance that adware brings to users.
To protect oneself from malware, it is always wise to think twice before downloading an app or program, to read the app’s terms and conditions before agreeing to them, and to quit the downloading procedure if anything in the app in question looks like it is asking for permission to load adware.
Finally, users can also opt to install anti-malware programs that perform regular scans against malware.