The Google Play Store has not yet finished the fight against the scourge of fake applications – Frandroid

A security report shows that two million malicious applications were installed from the Play Store within a month, particularly to spread intrusive advertising.

The Google Play Store has not yet finished the fightAndroid malware // Source: Frandroid

Two million installations of malicious applications from the Play Store in one month. This is the rather worrying observation made in a recent report by Doctor Web – a company that sells antivirus programs – cited by BleepingComputer.

Once installed, the installed apps hide their presence on the smartphone and exploit this to distribute intrusive advertisements. Among the two million cases detected, three main families of malware stand out: “FakeApp,” “Joker,” and “HiddenAds.”

Disguised malware in the Play Store

The final category, HiddenAds, represents the vast majority of installations, including four applications disguised as games in the Play Store:

  • Great Skibydi killer (1 million downloads);
  • Agent shooter (500,000);
  • Rainbow stretch (50,000);
  • Rubber punch 3D (500,000).

The Google Play Store has not yet finished the fightThis game on the Play Store actually hid malware // Source: Doctor Web

When installed, these apps can change their icons to mimic the Google Chrome browser or even make their logo transparent to make it harder to see on the home screen or app drawer.

These programs run silently in the background and “abuse the browser to serve ads and generate revenue,” says the BleepingComputer article.

Malware identified as FakeApp leads users to fraudulent investment sites. Some of these apps are games that load dubious online casino websites, violating Google Play Store rules.

Finally, Joker family apps encourage people to subscribe to a paid service to have more emojis or wallpapers. All apps mentioned in the report have been removed from the Play Store by Google.

Constant vigilance

However, this shows that the fight against these invasive applications is far from being won from the outset. Google isn’t done fighting fake apps in the Play Store yet. The Mountain View company needs to remain particularly vigilant, but so do its users. Think carefully before downloading an application and take the time to read the reviews left.