An analysis of the Google Play Store reveals 35 malicious apps

By TechThop Team

Posted on: 20 Aug, 2022

According to a research team of cybersecurity researchers, 35 apps have been found to contain malware and serve it to millions of users of Android devices. Several apps on the Google Play Store utilize false pretexts to get users to install them, then change their names, and aggressively serve ads.” 

The cybercriminals are not only monetizing their presence on Google Play, but they are also disrupting the user experience, as the ads are linked directly to malware, thereby making it difficult for users to ignore them.

As reported by Bitdefender, based on the data available in the public domain, these 35 malicious apps have been downloaded a total of over two million times on the Google Play Store, according to the report. 

The first step is for them to lead Android users into installing their apps, but soon after installation, they hide their presence on the device by renaming themselves and changing their icons to hide their presence on the device.

As a result, these apps begin to serve aggressive advertisements to users. The new versions of these applications use different names to confuse the user and conceal their presence, which makes it difficult for the user to find and uninstall them.

“While many legitimate apps offer their users ads, these show their ads through their framework, so they can also serve other types of malware to their victims as well. 

A user can usually choose to delete an application if they don't like it. Although users can still delete them at will, developers make it harder to find them on affected devices,' the report said.

An analysis conducted by Bitdefender has revealed that some of the malicious apps identified use a real-time behavioral technology that is designed to carry out dangerous actions in real-time.

The report points out that just because an app is downloaded from the official store doesn't mean it is safe. While the app store is good at filtering out malicious or dangerous apps, just downloading from the store does not mean it is safe.

The best way to avoid becoming a victim is to not install unnecessary apps. Be wary of apps that ask for special permissions or do not correspond to advertised functionality, and delete apps that are not in use.

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