At least 17 harmful apps have collectively managed to sneak in to the Play Store undetected. They have avoided the all-powerful Google scanners before infecting users’ devices with adware.
“Bitdefender researchers recently found 17 Google Play apps that, once installed, start hiding their presence on the user’s device and constantly display aggressive ads. While not malicious per se, the tactics they use to smuggle themselves into Google Play and dodge Google’s vetting system are traditionally associated with malware,” a report from cyber security solutions company Bitdefender states in its opening.
According to the Bitdefender researchers, in order to operate under the radar and avoid Google’s watchful eye, the offending apps would hold off displaying any ads to users for up to 4 hours after installation.
What are the Names of the Harmful apps?
Unlike previous incidents where Google quietly removed the offending programs before anyone has a chance to do any research, Bitdefender kindly provided their names. If you have any of these harmful apps on your phone, you should delete them immediately:
- Car Racing 2019
- 4K Wallpaper (Background 4K Full HD)
- Backgrounds 4K HD
- QR Code Reader & Barcode Scanner Pro
- File Manager Pro – Manager SD Card/Explorer
- VMOWO City: Speed Racing 3D
- Barcode Scanner
- Screen Stream Mirroring
- QR Code – Scan & Read a Barcode
- Period Tracker – Cycle Ovulation Women’s
- QR & Barcode Scan Reader
- Wallpapers 4K, Backgrounds HD
- Transfer Data Smart
- Explorer File Manager
- Today Weather Radar
- Mobnet.io: Big Fish Frenzy
- Clock LED
Even worse, some have been caught requesting sensitive user data like phone model, IMEI no., IP address, MAC address and location information. A little vigilance on your part might do you much better service than yet another resource-hungry app on your phone. Be mindful of the apps you download. Take time and find out more about the app before you install it on your phone. It could save you and your information.