Google has deleted 85 apps from its Play Store after they discovered that these apps were forcing aggressive, full-screen adware to Android users.
With the increase in mobile phone technology, Adware has become one of the most prominent mobile threats in the world. Adware are generally used to aggressively force ads like banners or pop-ups on mobile screens to make money for its makers.
The apps which were removed by Google from Play Store included games, streaming TV, and remote control simulator apps in the Google Play store and were installed by nine million users all over the world on their Android Smartphones.
Security experts from CyberSecurity company Trend Micro found that these apps which have the ability to force user devices with full-screen advertisements at regular intervals or when users unlock their device by monitoring their screen unlocking functionality.
Even when you are not browsing the internet these apps are still going to show you ads.
The most famous app in the list which is removed by Google was Easy Universal TV Remote, which was downloaded more than 5 million times before it was removed, had a solid 4-star rating from over 100,000 users with review section being populated with complaints from users.
The researchers said in a blog post:
“Upon closing the first ad, call to action buttons such as ‘start,’ ‘open app,’ or ‘next,’ as well as a banner ad will appear on the mobile device’s screen. Tapping on the call to action button brings up another full-screen ad. After the user exits the full-screen ad, more buttons that provide app-related options for users appear on the screen. It also prompts the user to give the app a five-star rating on Google Play. If the user clicks on any of the buttons, a full-screen ad will pop up again.”
CyberSecurity company reported their findings to Google, who immediately responded to the reports and removed the apps from its Play store after verifying the report.
However, the users who already have adware apps on their mobile handsets can remove it manually, but it is not going to be an easy process. As according to the CyberSecurity company:
“While the fake apps can be removed manually via the phone’s app uninstall feature, it can be difficult to get there when full-screen ads show up every 15 or 30 minutes or each time a user unlocks the device’s screen,”
The easiest way to protect yourself from falling prey to such attacks in the future is to always beware of fishy applications, even when downloading them from official Play Store and try to stick to the trusted brands only.