Security researchers catches 47 Adware-riddled Android apps on Google Play Store which were disguising as innocuous games

Android smartphones are some of the most in-demand handheld devices around the world. Millions of apps can be installed on these devices, but there are some that you should be aware of. On Tuesday, security researchers warned Android users about 47 malicious apps that are disguised as games on Google Play Store.

These apps were detected and reported by Avast, one of the global giants in digital privacy and security, probably famous for its Antivirus software used by millions. Of all the apps reported, 17 are still available on the Google Play Store and Google is also investigating them before removing. These apps have been downloaded more than 15 million times.

These apps are disguised and contain HiddenAds, which is a type of Trojan (a type of virus) for the Android platform. The virus poses as a harmless game or app that is completely safe to use and requests device administrator rights upon installation. Upon successful installation, the virus displays disruptive ads even when the app installed is not running. This is very annoying and slows down the device by consuming its active memory, hence endangering its health as well.

Researchers at Avast made this discovery initially by using’s automatic detection software which was based on a previous campaign about HiddenAds found in Google’s Play Store. Avast was able to detect them by comparing the similarities in features, network traffic, and activities of the applications with previous data available.

The apps can hide their icons on an infected device and display intrusive ads on it. Seven of the detected apps possess the ability to open the phone’s browser to display additional ads. Even if the user removes the app from their device, the ads will still be served continuously. These apps have low Plat Store ratings and reviews in which users complain about getting nonstop ads and low functionality of their features.

The threat analyst at Avast, Jakub Vávra said that campaigns like HiddenAds might slip into the Play Store by complicating their true purpose and activate once it has been installed, slowly infecting the device. It’s also very difficult to prevent them because developers of such apps use one-off accounts for each app. He also added that Google has been a great partner in removing malicious apps from the Play Store and that the users must be watchful of the signs of installing a bad app on their device. Such signs include unknown developers, negative reviews, and extensive permission requests.

Adware (malicious software that floods a user with excessive ads within and outside the app that contains it) apps are often very difficult to distinguish because they are often masquerading as entertainment apps like gaming apps. However, the reviews of such apps will often be highly negative, complaining about serving a lot of ads and having low functionality. The developers of such apps also have only one app on their accounts, which is another clue that the app has malicious intentions. Users should also check the permissions that the app they download requests before its installation.

So, by following and being aware of similar signs as mentioned above, users can be safe from falling victim to such malicious apps and protect their privacy and devices from harm.

Some of the malicious apps that are to be deleted are as follows:

Draw Color by Number

Skate Board - New

Find Hidden Differences

Shoot Master

Stacking Guys

Disc Go!

Spot Hidden Differences

Dancing Run - Color Ball Run

Find 5 Differences

Joy Woodworker

Throw Master

Throw into Space

Divide it - Cut & Slice Game

Tony Shoot - NEW

Assassin Legend

Flip King

Save Your Boy

Assassin Hunter 2020

Stealing Run

Fly Skater 2020

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