Google recently removed 22 malicious apps from its Play Store after the security researcher Sophos found that these apps are being used for ad fraud by hackers. According to the Sophos report, these apps drain the phone’s battery and may cause data overages . As the apps are constantly running and communicating with servers in the background. Furthermore, the devices are controlled by the C2 server and can potentially install any malicious modules upon the instructions of the server.
These 22 malicious apps were removed in the last few days of November.
A well-organized and persistent malware known as “Andr/Clickr” has the potential to cause serious harm to the end users, as well as the entire Android system. The apps which apparently clicked on fraudulent ads without the knowledge of the users were active even when it was force-closed which further led the apps to drain the phone’s battery and cause data overages.
This is not actually the first time the Play Store has experienced something like this. Last month Google removed around 13 apps from the Play Store because they were found to be installing malware on user’s devices. Many users have downloaded these apps which include truck stimulator, luxury car driving stimulator and many more.
It’s about the last year that Google was held responsible for the spread of auto-clicking adware to as many as 36 million mobile devices.
Google gave a statement a few days back that it takes deceptive and malicious behaviour on the platform very seriously. The statement was released after Google removed Kika and CM File manager from the Play Store for deceptive behaviour.
What is more disturbing about the situation is that these apps have been downloaded on over two million instances, signifying that a large number of users were targeted by the malware. A single app- Sparkle Flashlight was responsible for over one million downloads alone, and was listed much earlier than the other apps.
After Sophos reported the malicious apps to Google, the company immediately removed those apps from the Play Store. However, it is still not clear that if it also removed from the user’s phones on which these apps are installed. Google can directly remove the apps from the people’s phone if they downloaded the apps through the Play Store and if they are logged in as well as connected to their Play Store account.
If you have any of the below-listed apps in your device, please remove it immediately in order to get away with any malware.
The list includes some of the popular apps like Sparkle Flashlight with one million or over downloads.
Below are the 22 apps that you should not have in your phone. Please check these out as it’s very crucial.
- Sparkle Flashlight
- Snake Attack
- Math Solver
- Take a Trip
- Join Up
- Zombie Killer
- Space Rocket
- Neon Pong
- Just Falshlight
- Table Soccer
- Cliff Driver
- Box Stack
- Jelly Slice
- AK Blackjack
- Color Tiles
- Anika Match
- Roulette Mania
These apps were deemed malicious and had a backdoor built into them that helped these apps in doing ad frauds. So, if you have any of these apps still in your devices, please get rid of it.