8 Million Android Users Are Unaware of Photography and Gaming Adware Apps in Disguise

Technology is updated every passing second, we rely more on our devices than we used to. Now people pretty much do the majority of tasks on their cell phones from editing pictures to video calling. A huge variety of companies focus on providing new products every once in a while just to engage more audience and to make its users rely more on the apps for all sort of tasks.

Adware apps caught by Security Firm

People download different apps on their phones just to ease their daily tasks but sometimes unintentionally they also become a victim of malware apps.

Recently, cyber security firm Trend Micro found 85 adware apps disguised as photo-editing apps and games in Google Play store. These apps according to Ecular Xu (a security researcher) taking over user’s screens to generate revenue. 85 individual adware apps have been downloaded more than 8 million times on Google Play store.

What do these adware apps do?

Although the apps have been removed from the Play store it’s still installed on so many devices. These adware apps will run on any user device and will operate and click ads to generate revenue in the background without the user’s authorization at all. These apps aren’t just ordinary adware apps, they not only displays advertisements that are difficult to close but also implements different strategies to detect user behavior.

According to the researchers, these apps record the time and date when they were installed and after half-an-hour, these apps hide its icon and create a shortcut on the user’s home screen. This strategy helps the apps from being deleted permanently. The advertisements from these apps are shown on the full screen and users are forced to watch the whole advertisements before being able to close it or go back to the app. The code on the app also ensures that it doesn’t show the same ad too frequently. Whenever the user unlocks the app, it displays ads on the user’s home screen. What’s the worst part about these ads? They are configured by the person operating the app, this means that person can even allow ads to be displayed for more than default five minute intervals.

Trend Micro after the research also provided a list of the apps removed from the Play store. The list includes names like Background Eraser, Beautiful House - House Painting Game, Super Selfie Camera, One Stroke Line Puzzle - Funny Game and many more, most of them had more than a million downloads each.

Bottom Line

Just to be safe, always read the reviews on the apps before downloading any. Most of the deleted adware apps in disguise had one-star reviews with comments of users complaining about the pop-up ads. So before downloading any new app always check reviews and user feedback regarding the apps.

Read next: Top 5K free apps on Google Play Store have vulnerabilities that allow hackers to attack servers, says a report

Featured photo: Stephen Lam / Reuters
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