Google Play Store removed 29 malicious apps with over 10 million downloads, cybersecurity company Quick Heal Security Labs reported last week. In the blog post, Quick Heal has also shared the list of malicious apps which have now been taken down from the Play Store. One of the applications in the list “Multiapp multiple accounts simultaneously” had over five million downloads.
24 of the apps were said to have the HiddAd malware, while the other five apps were Adwares, Quick Heal Security Labs revealed in its blog post.
The aim of the HiddAd apps is to show the user full screen ads on the device. It was revealed that some of the HiddAd apps also showed ads even when they were not in use. The HiddAd apps, which are mostly found in the Photography category, hid their icon after the user initially launches them in order to prevent getting uninstalled easily and instead create a shortcut on the Home Screen.
The Adware apps, on the other hand, display advertisements of other apps such as X-Ray scanning app, while the user is browsing popular sites like Facebook and YouTube.
At first, there is no way to shut these ads and the app also takes time to display close ad button. These are continuous and even if a user manages to close one ad, it will open another advertisement immediately and will not let the user utilize the “real application functionalities”, the post said about the Adware apps.
In essence, the objective of the Adware apps is to get the user to utilize heavy data usage and also drain the smartphone battery. Advertisements are the gateway used by the Adware apps in order to get into the user’s Android device.