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Avoid and remove these vile Google Play Store apps with 2 million (and still counting) downloads

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IT security solutions provider Doctor Web has: published a report about nasty trojans distributed by apps on Google Play Store. While most have been taken from the official Android app store, there are still a few left.

This malicious software can be divided into other categories such as malware i.e. software created to disrupt or gain access to a system, riskware that poses a potential risk to users, and adware, which places unwanted advertisements on your phone displays.

Android.Spy.4498that transfers the content of notifications from other apps was the most active malware during the month, followed by Android.HiddenAds.3018 and Android.HiddenAds.3152 that come across as harmless apps, but once they affect an Android device, they hide their presence from the user. The third most common malware was: Android.DownLoader.475.origin that installs other malware and unwanted software.

Program.FakeAntiVirus.1 was the most common unwanted software in May. Such programs are often distributed as antivirus software and trick users into raising the alarm about non-existent threats in order to fool them and buy the full version of the software.

Tool.SilentInstaller.14.originTool.SilentInstaller.6.originTool.SilentInstaller.13.originand Tool.SilentInstaller.7.origin were the most productive form of riskware during the month. Tool.Obfuscapp.1.origin was another common malware. It modifies the source code of Android apps to make it harder for antivirus programs to detect malicious apps.

Adware.SspSdk.1.originAdware.AdPush.36.originAdware.Adpush.6547Adware.Adpush.2146and Adware.MyTeam.2.origin were the most common adware embedded in Android apps. They show full screen ads and sometimes block the windows of other apps.

So, which Android apps hide these trojans?

Doctor Web found many threats on Google Play during the month of May. beeping computer reports that at least five of the affected apps are still available in stores and have been downloaded more than two million times. Among which:

Wild and exotic animal wallpaper with Android.HiddenAds.3158 underneath: This image collecting app tried to stay hidden by renaming itself to ‘SIM Tool Kit’ and changing the app icon to a less noticeable one. It also requested permission to be added to the list of exceptions to the battery saving feature so that it could show ads even if the phone user hasn’t used the app for a long time. It has been downloaded 500,000 times so far.

Magnifying Flashlight with Android.HiddenAds.3161: This flashlight app hid its icon so that it would not appear on the home screen menu and displayed ad videos and banners. 10,000 users have installed it.

PIP Pic Camera Photo Editor with Android.PWS.Facebook.142 trojan: Downloaded a million times, it disguises itself as image editing software, but basically steals Facebook credentials.

ZodiHoroscope – Fortune Finder Hides Android.PWS.Facebook.141: Attempts to steal Facebook credentials by tricking victims into entering them. 500,000 downloads.

PIP Camera 2022 with Android.PWS.Facebook.143: A camera effects app that tries to hijack Facebook accounts. 50,000 installations

Malicious Android apps that have been uninstalled that you should remove from your phone

Doctor Web also found a data recovery app called “Recovery” that carried the Android.Subscription.9 trojan to subscribe users to paid services. Another was a game called Driving Real Race that carried Android.Subscription.10. These apps went to websites of various affiliates to sign up for subscription services.

To protect your smartphone from such malicious apps, you should only download apps from trusted sources and consider downloading an antivirus solution.

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