The Android app warnings show no signs of stopping. Just last week a whopping 50 applications were banned from Google’s Play store and now there’s another batch that have been removed by the US technology giant. What makes this latest block even more serious is the number of times these applications have been installed onto devices with them amassing some 10 million downloads across the globe.
The 28 apps in question were spotted by the security team at Dr Web who say they contain annoying adware which can display constant and highly intrusive adverts even if the software isn’t being used. Cyber criminals have made this possible by using a sneaky tactic that allows the app to add itself to the battery saver’s exclusion list. This means the applications are allowed to continuously run in the background even if the phone owner physically closes the software down
Once the app is installed, the crooks know it’s likely that users will quickly become aware that it’s causing issues on the phone. To keep things on devices as long as possible, some of the applications are able to hide their identity making them also impossible to find and remove. In fact, Dr. web has discovered that some of the offending apps change their name and icon to look like an Android settings menu.
Along with the 28 adware-filled apps, all listed lower down in this article, Dr. Web also said it has also found some of the apps contained the vicious Joker malware.
Once installed, Joker has the ability to install hidden spyware and premium dialers onto devices, which can then sign-up unsuspecting users to expensive monthly subscription plans. In the past, some victims have found themselves paying in excess of £240 a year for these fraudulent subscriptions.
Another danger hidden that Dr. Web has reported is the dreaded Facestealer malware which is known for targeting Facebook users with fake Facebook login screens in a bid to steal user names and passwords.
All of the advert-filled applications discovered by Dr. Web have now been removed from the Play Store but that won’t protect those who have already download them.
Below is a list of all the applications that contain adware and if you have them installed on your phone you need to delete them immediately.
• Photo Editor: Beauty Filter
• Photo Editor: Retouch & Cutout
• Photo Editor: Art Filters
• Photo Editor – Design Maker
• Photo Editor & Background Eraser
• Photo & Exif Editor
• Photo Editor – Filters Effects
• Photo Filters & Effects
• Photo Editor : Blur Image
• Photo Editor : Cut, Paste
• Emoji Keyboard: Stickers & GIF
• Neon Theme Keyboard
• Neon Theme – Android Keyboard
• Cashe Cleaner
• Fancy Charging
• FastCleaner: Cashe Cleaner
• Call Skins – Caller Themes
• Funny Caller
• CallMe Phone Themes
• InCall: Contact Background
• MyCall – Call Personalization
• Caller Theme
• Caller Theme
• Funny Wallpapers – Live Screen
• 4K Wallpapers Auto Changer
• NewScrean: 4D Wallpapers
• Stock Wallpapers & Backgrounds
• Notes – reminders and lists
It’s worrying news there are things all Android users can do to help avoid becoming a victim of these app attacks.
Security experts advise to be wary before downloading any applications unless they are from a known and trusted source. Look for apps with very high install numbers and positive reviews.
Once installed, it’s wise not to grant permissions unless you fully trust the app and its developers.
If you become a victim of a malicious app from the Play Store, inform Google about it immediately.
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