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Google Play eliminates 42 applications with over 8 million downloads for containing infected ads



Security company investigators ESET has uncovered an adware campaign (program that automatically changes publicity to misleading or misleading) that ran for about a year with 42 involucrated applications. These account with over 8 millones of downloads just time to be deleted from the Google Play platform.

"We identified 42 applications on Google Play as belonging to the campaign, which had been running since July 2018. Of these, 21 were still available at the time of discovery," said a statement Lukas Stefanko, ESET researcher.

Stefanko assures that despite the fact that Google's security team quickly eliminates applications, also available in third parties.

In addition to functioning as malware (a kind of software designed to access a device without user awareness), the applications provide the functionality promised as Radio FM, video downloader or games. The way this malware works is to show ads of full screen at semi-random intervals, and in the background, send user device data.

ESET also warns that applications containing this hidden malware should be considered as poorly trusted.

Damages that could cause malware:

  • Harassing users with intrusive advertisements may also be fraudulent
  • Waste Device Battery Resources
  • Generate mayor red traffic
  • Collect personal information from users
  • Hide your presence on the affected device to achieve persistence
  • Generate entries for your operator without user interaction

The security company was able to track malware by a creator, a Vietnamese university student, who not hiding his identity, researchers could find his personal details on Facebook, GitHub and YouTube.


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