Google has recently removed 21 malicious applications from their play store deeming them malicious for the users. These applications used to serve intrusive ads to their users. These applications were highly popularised on social media by the group behind this operation to lure people into downloading them. Though the applications looked like simple gaming apps, they came with a bunch of Hidden ads malware. This included a Trojan, that could serve intrusive ads outside of the application as well.
Avast Listed them as malicious applications
A report by the Czech cybersecurity firm Avast had listed these 21 applications as malicious. They also mentioned that these applications were downloaded & were being used by nearly 8 million people online. In June as well, Avast had listed up to 47 applications on the play store as malicious for serving adware to the users. Avast also mentioned that in this particular case, the users were majorly lured into downloading these gaming applications by ads on YouTube.
Cybercriminals are getting smarter with time
Cybercriminals are opting to any & every possible tactic to ensure that their malicious applications reach the maximum number of users possible. Even after download, these applications become hard to uninstall or delete as they often hide their icons or make use of relevant-looking advertisements to confuse the user.
Often these applications also have the ability to show unskippable timed ads on other applications by drawing over them. They can even open the browser sometimes in order to launch a number of ads at the user. Though it is possible, it often gets hard for the users to locate & uninstall these applications at the right time.
Besides that, the groups behind these ads also make use of modern-day marketing techniques to ensure more & more users opt to it. They leverage the power of social media to increase the application’s popularity & get people to download it. And more often than not, many people end up downloading them.
Google does it’s part, do you?
In recent years, Google has proven pretty vigilant when it comes to cybersecurity. It has taken a number of steps to ensure that the Google play store doesn’t carry or support any rogue android applications. To ensure no such applications infiltrate into the Play Store, Google has forged the ‘App Defense Alliance’ last year in addition to Google Play Protect that serves the same purpose. The Alliance was forged in partnership with a number of known cybersecurity firms including Zimperium, Lookout & ESET in order to mitigate the risk of app-based malware.
Though Google does it’s part, it is also up to the users to ensure their security before downloading any application. They must take a look at the reviews from other users, developer details, the permissions it requests & more before they take any step towards installing it. Only by ensuring complete knowledge can they save their data from falling in jeopardy.