Google Play Found Housing 172 Malicious Apps With Over 335 Million Collective Downloads in September: Report


Security researchers detected a total of 172 infected apps, with over 335 million collective installs, on Google Play Store in September alone. ESET researcher Lukas Stefanko said that the majority of those 172 malicious apps were harbouring adware, Threatpost reported on Tuesday. As per the report, most of the applications that were found to be malicious have been removed.

“Unwanted ads or adware is popular category because after installation it does not request any further inputs, like banking trojans, and can simply generate revenue for developers right from the beginning,” Threatpost quoted Stefanko.

“Also, it is not as difficult to create adware as it is to create Android ransomware or banking Trojans,” Stefanko added.

The malicious category includes the applications that are infected by adware, subscription scams, hidden ads, SMS premium subscription, and more.

To recall, Google removed 46 apps from the Play Store belonging to Chinese mobile developer iHandy. The search giant had also deleted 29 malicious apps, discovered by Quick Heal Security Labs.

One of the malicious apps from this set named ‘multiapp multiple accounts simultaneously’ has crossed 5 million installs and out of the 29 apps, 24 are from ‘HiddAd’ category that hides the icon after first launch and create a shortcut on home screen of the phone.

According to Quick Heal Security Labs, the purpose of the apps is to not let users uninstall it by just dragging the icon.

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