Google has removed over 85 adware-ridden Android apps from Google Play Store following a Trend Micro report. These apps, disguised as photo-editing and gaming apps, were downloaded more than eight million times from Google Play. TrendMicro has mentioned all the 85 adware apps in this list.
Adware apps focus on throwing full-screen ads on your smartphone. Mostly, they will keep on running in the background, generating ad revenue. They are also difficult to eliminate since such apps hide after installation.
The adware detected on these 85 apps is AndroidOS_Hidenad.HRXH. “It isn’t your run-of-the-mill adware family,” writes Ecular Xu at Trend Micro. The apps exploited device functions in order to evade detection from the user.
The researchers at TrendMicro discovered that the deceitful apps would sit dormant for at least 30 minutes after the installation. After that, the apps would automatically hide its icon and replace it with a shortcut on the home screen. Hence, the app would remain on the device even if the user decides to uninstall it via the drag and drop process.
The apps also registered time-stamps on when a user unlocks the device. “Once conditions are met, advertisements will be displayed on the screen,” the report writes.
However, the team believes users running Android 8.0 and above might be unaffected. This is because newer Android versions take user’s consent before an app tries to add a shortcut; thus, making users suspicious about the app’s activity.
Google keeps on removing apps that are reported to be malicious. However, the steps usually happen after millions have installed the application. Like we have told you before, the best way to delete a malicious app — Go to Android settings > Installed apps > Delete the app that you recently installed.