Adware apps with more than 8 million downloads removed from Play Store

By Muneeb Ahmad on
August 17, 2019
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Google has conducted a crackdown against 85 adware Android applications from Google Play Store, which had combined downloads of over 8 million.

In a recent crackdown against notorious adware applications, Google has removed 85 applications from its official application store. The applications, which had a total of 8 million+ downloads through the store, were found displaying full-screen, non-skippable long advertisements to their users. These applications were mostly spotted in the photography and gaming categories on the Play Store.

The adware applications were first spotted by a security researcher team from Trend Micro. The team found out that these applications were using adware which detected when the users unlocked their smartphones. The adware then pushed up full-screen visual advertisements which couldn’t be skipped by the users. These applications used a “AndroidOS_Hidenad.HRXH” adware.

“It isn’t your run-of-the-mill adware family,” said Ecular Xu, an engineer at Trend Micro. “Apart from displaying advertisements that are difficult to close, it employs unique techniques to evade detection through user behavior and time-based triggers.”

After being installed, these applications would lie dormant on the user’s smartphone for some time. After the lapse of that time, the application would hide and show a shortcut on the home screen for running the application. This allowed the application to stay on the smartphone even if the user chose to uninstall these applications by the drag-and-drop option.

News — Fossbytes

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