Published: Thu, January 10, 2019

Google Removes 85 Popular Apps Disguised As Adware

Google Removes 85 Popular Apps Disguised As Adware

But despite the crash, unbeknownst to the user, the app would continue to run in the phone's background, showing new fullscreen ads ever 15 or 30 minutes, generating profits for the fraudsters until users either removed the apps or reset devices to factory settings as a last resort. It is great Trend Micro reported these apps to Google who swiftly suspended the fake apps after verifying the report. These apps throw full-screen ads when the app is first launched; any call-to-action button or any app-related buttons is pressed within the app. Fake PMJAY Ayushman Bharat Registration Apps: Government Releases List of 64 Mobile Applications, Warns Users From Downloading Them.

Taking cognisance of the issue, Google has removed all the nefarious apps from the Play store. "If the user clicks on any of the buttons, a full-screen ad will pop up again", Xu explains in a blog post today. The adware-infected app then informs the user that it is loading or buffering, and after a few seconds, it disappears from the user's screen and hides its icon on the device. Some ads also show a full-screen ad every time the user unlocks their phone.

Another behavior of the adware-laden apps is to push ads every time the user unlocks the device screen. Fake Apps of SBI, ICICI, Axis And Other Banks on Google Play May Have Stolen Data of Customers: Report. It is developed by Chinese developer TCL and it also comes pre-installed on some phones from Alcatel (owned by Finnish company Nokia and used under license by Chinese electronics company TCL Corporation). Availability is definitely tied to the new version of the Google app, which may not be available to everybody yet, but it's still unclear if this is a staged rollout or if everybody gets it automatically.


What the Upstream investigation found was that the app was running ad-fraud activities behind users' back by accessing various web pages with advertisements without any interaction.

Its activities cost victims 250MB of mobile traffic every day and subscribed them to a premium service in Brazil.

The apps were blatant adware, and you didn't need to be a security researcher to realize they were malicious.

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