Following the accusations that popular app TikTok jeopardizes its users' privacy and security, Google has banned another 25 apps from Play Store and is treating AnTuTu as spyware.
Suspicious Apps Banned From Play Store
In a report by BGR, the internet giant has banned a new set of suspicious apps as these were caught stealing sensitive information, including the user's Facebook log-in credentials.
A French cybersecurity firm known as Evina was first to disclose the news this week, saying that a single threat group developed the apps and that the batch is a mix of a variety of apps, including wallpapers, to games.
Nevertheless, each of them has a single purpose, which is to acquire data from the user.
"When an application is launched on your phone, the malware queries the application name," the company said and further explaining that the malware will launch a browser that will load Facebook simultaneously.
The Apps You Need to Delete Now
The banned apps include the following (Google also recommends deleting them as soon as possible):
- iPlayer & iWallpaper
- Super Wallpapers Flashlight
- Contour level Wallpaper
- Video Maker
- Wallpaper Level
- Powerful Flashlight
- Color Wallpapers
- Super Bright Flashlight
- Synthetic Z
- Super Flashlight
- Classic card game
- Solitaire game
- Junk File Cleaning
- Accurate Scanning of QR Code
- File Manager
- iHealth Step Counter
- Screenshot Capture
- Wuxia Reader
- Anime Live Wallpaper
- Composite Z
- Daily Horoscope Wallpapers
- Plus Weather
According to the French firm, they have informed the internet giant in late May, and after receiving notification from Google immediately investigated until they banned the apps.
Nevertheless, some of these apps have already been on Play Store since 2019, and as a whole, they have gathered around 2 million downloads, with some of them acquiring tens of thousands of downloads since it went live on Play Store.
It should be noted that when Google banned these apps, they also disabled them from the user's end.
That means you may not be able to use the apps like you used to, and if that's the case, then you should have it uninstalled as soon as possible and try to change your Facebook credentials before they could use your data to hack it.
Google is Treating AnTuTu as Spyware
Besides these new set of banned apps, Google is also treating popular software AnTuTu as spyware.
According to a report by Slash Gear, AnTuTu has been removed from Play Store earlier this year, and now, the Play Protect security platform is now treating it as a dangerous app, scaring anyone who is trying to download it.
AnTuTu was never directly involved in any privacy or security issue, but they have been removed from Play Store as they were involved with Cheetah Mobile, which was reported to include spyware.
Although the software itself denied spyware accusations, Cheetah Mobile was one of its shareholders, which is why they earned a bad reputation.