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Beware: Android Adware Apps on Google Play Amass Two Million Installs

The realm of Android apps on Google Play is vast, but it’s not immune to unwanted intruders. In this article, we explore the discovery of adware apps by researchers at Doctor Web. These stealthy culprits have sneaked past unsuspecting users, accumulating over two million downloads.

Unmasking the HiddenAds: A Threat Lurking on Google Play

Doctor Web’s diligent researchers have unearthed a disconcerting revelation – the presence of adware apps on Google Play. What’s more concerning is that these apps don the disguise of games while subjecting users to intrusive ads, all while hiding their true intentions on the infected devices.

The Culprits: Adware Apps Running Amok

Doctor Web’s investigation has led to the identification of four adware apps, collectively known as “HiddenAds.” These apps have managed to infiltrate countless devices, impacting over two million users. Here’s what we know about these deceptive apps:

Super Skibydi Killer

  • Over 1,000,000 downloads.

Agent Shooter

  • Over 500,000 downloads.

Rainbow Stretch

  • Over 50,000 downloads.

Rubber Punch 3D

  • Over 500,000 downloads.

How the Adware Operates

The modus operandi of these adware apps is particularly intrusive. They bombard users with full-screen ads, pop-ups, and banners. What’s more, these ads are often stubborn and challenging to close, leaving users frustrated. They may even redirect users to malicious websites, putting their devices and data at risk.

Data Collection and Stealthy Techniques

These adware apps go beyond invasive ads. They discreetly collect users’ personal data, including IP addresses, device IDs, and locations, without their consent. To remain hidden on infected devices, they employ a technique called “runtime obfuscation,” encrypting their code to evade analysis. They also employ tactics like concealing icons and app names to escape detection.

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Taking Action

Doctor Web has taken swift action by reporting these adware apps to Google. Some have already been removed from Google Play. However, it’s crucial for users to remain vigilant when downloading apps.

Guarding Against Adware Apps

Here are some essential tips to protect yourself from adware apps:

  • Prioritize apps from reputable developers.
  • Read user reviews before downloading apps.
  • Exercise caution when dealing with free apps.
  • Scrutinize app permissions and grant them judiciously.
  • Employ a robust security app to scan your device for adware and malware.

What to Do If Infected

If you suspect your device may be infected with adware, here are the steps to take:

  • Uninstall any suspicious apps.
  • Clear your cache and cookies.
  • Run a comprehensive scan of your device using a reliable security app.
  • If necessary, reset your device to factory settings.

In Conclusion

Adware apps can be more than just a nuisance; they can pose a considerable security risk. By staying vigilant and following the protective measures outlined above, you can shield your device and data from adware threats. Stay safe in the vast world of Android apps.

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