Trend Micro found 85 apps on Play Store after security researchers. Google has removed these apps (included popular games and utility apps that deceptively displayed ads.) from its Play Store at Trend Micro found a particularly annoying adware hiding inside.
These apps were showing hidden and full-screen ads, and ads there were running in background to squeeze money from Android users. Super Selfie, Cos Camera, Pop Camera, and One Stroke Line Puzzle were the most popular among the 85 apps that were discovered by Trend Micro as being adware-infected.
The 85 apps that were found pushing adware affected at least 10 million users. The report by the researchers said that all these apps were uploaded on the platform by different developer accounts and were signed by different digital certificates; however, they all exhibited similar behavior and shared the same code.
“We found another example of adware’s potential real-life impact on Google Play. Trend Micro detects this as AndroidOS_Hidenad.HRXH. Apart from displaying advertisements that are difficult to close, it employs unique techniques to evade detection through user behavior and time-based triggers,” Ecular Xu, mobile threat response engineer at Trend Micro, wrote in a blog post on Friday.
Still, adware app may not be as bad as malware apps that steal your data. But there is a risk where some ads can be malicious, containing hidden code that could trick users into installing malware, and thus amounting thousands of fraudulent ad dollars every week. Google is putting its efforts in scanning apps before they are published on the Play Store. In the last one year alone, the search giant has removed over 700,000 malicious apps, TechCrunch reports. Yet, such malware apps continue to crop up every now and then.