These Play Store Apps Contained Spyware, Did Google Remove Them Quickly Enough?

The chances of encountering an app with some form of malicious software have increased dramatically over the past few years, with numerous apps on the Play Store found to have malware or spyware contained within their source code. Such a trend is concerning because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up making users unwittingly download apps and give them device permissions without realizing how harmful they might be for them.

A couple of weeks ago, several apps on the Play Store were found to contain spyware, and many of these apps were quite popular including a prayer app for Muslims as well as a reader for QR codes, reports Appcensus. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that Google has removed some of those apps, but the fact that dozens were able to make it on the platform is a cause for concern due to how many downloads they managed to get before being taken down.

Some of the apps that were removed had been downloaded as many as five million times, and while they are no longer on the app store they still exist on many of those users’ devices with all things having been considered and taken into account. Google only found out about them because of researchers at the University of Calgary, so there is clearly a need for the tech giant to conduct internal sweeps because it can’t rely on third parties to alert it to any of the security threats that people are facing because of its lax app store policies.

An app developed by Panamanian company Measurement Systems which was downloaded over sixty million times had code that allowed the app to extract data from the devices that it was downloaded on. The presence of such dangerous apps and the fact that they get such widespread popularity before getting taken down does not bode well for the future of cybersecurity, and it is high time that Google started taking steps to mitigate such events.

Read next: Google Play Store is modifying its rules regarding apps having the permission to install APK files on a phone
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