Android users have had their devices used to generate income for criminals through adware. The malicious code was hidden in two free selfie apps available on the Google Play Store. With over 1.5 million downloads, Sun Pro Beauty Camera and Funny Sweet Beauty tools released unexpected on-screen ad activity and could even record audio using the phone's microphone. After receiving security alerts, Google has banned programs from your app store.
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Selfie apps distribute adware over 1.5 million downloads on the Google Play Store Photo: Reproduo / Rodrigo Fernandes
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The digital security company Wandera reported to Google on September 11 the discovery of the activities of the two apps. According to the information released, apps are responsible for reducing handset productivity, increasing battery consumption and launching invasive advertisements on the screen. A few days after being informed, the search giant deleted the app download pages.
One of the apps, Sun Pro Beauty Camera, has had over 1 million registered downloads, while Funny Sweet Beauty Camera has been downloaded over 500,000 times. When opened, both created suspicious shortcuts that quickly disappeared on the phone screen. Even if the cone were removed, the adware still functioned normally in the background. During this process, they were able to open ads in full screen even when the user was performing other tasks.
The action of recording audio, however, was in the required permissions for installation. As such, it was not a completely hidden activity, as users were warned that apps could use the device's microphone at any time. Permissions could also warrant other activities such as using windows to let users click on links and autostart when the phone is turned on.
User comments on defunct adware application download pages Photo: Playback / Wandera
Adware is malicious software designed to perform automatic actions on devices on which it is installed. Primarily, they are designed to launch advertisements on the screen of computers and mobile devices, generating income for developers.
Security companies typically only suggest using official stores to prevent devices from becoming infected, but security holes are not new to the Google Play Store. Recently, Joker malware has been found in more than 24 store apps having reached over half a million downloads. Also in 2019, 85 other applications spread adware on more than eight million phones worldwide.
With so many precedents, never be too careful to download apps from the official Google store. It is recommended that you always keep up-to-date antivirus software on your phone and when accessing suspicious websites. It is also important to find the opinion of other users before deciding to download an application. Stores like the Google Play Store feature a comment area where you can check out other users' experiences and eventually find reports of strange program activity.
Via Wandera and Computer hoy
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