Avast cybersecurity researchers have discovered the presence of 21 infected applications within the Play Store. These seemingly mundane apps were actually hiding an annoying virus in their code. Once the infected application was installed, the virus could spread to the smartphone and harm the user.
The virus in question, dubbed HiddenAds, is adware. This is a type of malware that displays a large number of advertisements on the devices it has affected, in order to generate advertising revenue even if it means rendering infected smartphones unusable. In some cases, the number of advertising windows is so large that it is indeed impossible to close them to use the phone normally.
And in order to properly harm their victims, the authors of malicious applications arrange for their icon to disappear once installed. Thus, victims don’t think about deleting the app when the first pop-up ads appear.
If Avast shared its discovery with Google, which rushed to remove infected apps from its Play Store, these apps can still be found on phones. This is why it is advisable to check from the settings of your smartphone if one of the 21 malicious applications is not there.
Here is the list of infected applications:
- Shoot Them
- Crush Car
- Rolling Scroll
- Helicopter Attack – New
- Helicopter Attack – NEW
- Assassin Legend – 2020 NEW
- Helicopter Shoot
- Rugby Pass
- Flying Skateboard
- Iron it
- Shooting Run
- Plant Monster
- Find Hidden
- Find 5 Differences – 2020 NEW
- Rotate Shape
- Jump Jump
- Find the Differences – Puzzle Game
- Sway man
- Money Destroyer
- Desert Against
- Cream Trip – NEW
- Rescue Props
Google says it’s doing everything possible
Go to your smartphone’s settings, Applications option to check that no spurious app is there.
“Google is doing everything possible to prevent HiddenAds from entering the Play Store, but malicious apps continue to find new ways to disguise their real purpose, slipping onto the platform without Google’s knowledge,” says Avast in his report.
To avoid being fooled, use applications offered by well-known publishers or developers. Also, be sure to read the comments below the app descriptions. Negative feedback will help you avoid unpleasant surprises. Finally, consider installing an antivirus on your smartphone.