More Than 200 Android Apps Are Affected By This New Adware On Google Play Store

Despite of numerous safety measures by Google, security researchers have recently discovered that more than 200 Android apps are infected by a new kind of adware called SimBad on the play store. Together these apps had 150 million downloads and most of the affected ones are simulator games.

Going into the details, Check Point researchers further revealed that the adware was enclosed in an ad-related SDK provided by an entity called addroider. Developers were tempted to use the platform without knowing its content and once the SimBad-enabled app was installed on any device, the adware automatically connected to command and control servers for further actions. After that it directed users to install rogue app or visit scam websites. Moreover, the biggest threat of SimBad lies in its infrastructure, which can easily evolve into something big with time.

Check Point also provided the list of infected apps to Google which were later taken down from Google Play. However, the company will not delete apps from user’s devices. Unfortunately, some of the most popular apps including Snow Heavy Excavator Simulator (10 million downloads), Hoverboard Racing (five million downloads), and Real Tractor Farming Simulator (five million downloads) were also trapped in this scam. Other than simulator games, apps related to photo editing and live wallpapers can also be found in the list - dated back to March 2017.

This is not for the first time that Google has been forced to remove apps from the play store. In 2018 alone, the company had to delete 700,000 apps following the fight against different types of malware. But this incident proves that Google’s own scanning techniques need more improvements before rogue apps start dominating the play store.



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