Malware has hit millions of Android users – remove these apps now
Another batch of malicious apps filled with adware and malware managed to slip past Google’s defenses and end up in the Play Store.
Aiming to trick unsuspecting users into downloading, these 36 malicious apps feature image editing tools, virtual keyboards, system optimizers, wallpaper changers, and other useful tools.
While these apps promise to add new features to your Android smartphone, they actually push intrusive ads, sign users up for premium services, and steal social media accounts, according to BleepingComputer.
The malicious applications were discovered by security researchers from antivirus software manufacturer Dr. The website provided additional information about each of the individual applications in a new report.
Although Google has removed most of these bad apps from the Play Store, you will still need to manually uninstall them if you have any of them on your Android devices.
Adware applications that run in the background
In addition to being just annoying, adware apps can quickly drain your smartphone’s battery because many of them are designed to run in the background even when you close them.
Those discovered by Dr. Web, are actually modifications of existing adware families that first appeared on the Play Store in May of this year.
These adware applications are also able to run on top of other applications because they ask permission to use popups during installation. However, they can also run in the background by adding to the Android battery saver exclusion list.
To make matters worse, many of these adware applications also have the option to hide the application icons in the application drawer or replace them with another icon that resembles a core system component such as “SIM Toolkit”.
Among these adware apps, Neon Theme Keyboard by Nataļji Kokorevičs (which is still available on the Play Store at the time of writing) stands out as it has millions of downloads, even with a terrible score of 1.8 based on 4,000 reviews. Fortunately, however, Google Play Protect seems to have started warning users about the app based on reviews from the Play Store.
Joker apps that subscribe users to premium services
Company researchers Dr. The website also found malicious apps in the Play Store that infect users’ devices with the infamous Joker malware.
These apps are particularly dangerous because this strain of malware has the ability to sign up victims for premium services without their knowledge. Unfortunately, two of the malicious apps on Dr. The website (Water Reminder-Tracker & Reminder by YPC Dev and Yoga-For Beginner to Advanced by AL HASSAN) are still available for download and have yet to be removed from the Play Store.
While both apps actually provide the functionality described in their Play Store listings, they also perform malicious actions in the background.
Image editing apps that will steal your Facebook account
Having your Facebook account hacked can be devastating, especially if it’s a Facebook Business account, which is why two malicious apps were discovered by researchers Dr. Web.
These two apps (YouToon – AI Cartoon Effect and Pista – Cartoon Photo Effect) masquerade as image editing tools that can apply cartoon filters to regular images and have been downloaded over a million times.
Both apps were designed to steal data from your Android smartphone that can be used to hack into your Facebook account.
Protect yourself from malicious apps in the Play Store
To avoid annoying ads, signing up for premium services against your will, or having your social media accounts stolen, the first thing you should do is check the list below to make sure that none of these malicious apps are installed on your Android smartphone. or tablet.
If so, remove them immediately and consider using one of the best antivirus apps for Android to scan for any viruses that may have remained.
Photo Editor: Beauty Filter
Photo Editor: Retouch & Cutout
Photo Editor: Artistic Filters
Photo Editor – Design Maker
Photo editor and background eraser
Photo and Exif editor
Photo Editor – Filter Effects
Photo filters and effects
Photo Editor: Blur Image
Photo Editor: Cut, Paste
Emoji Keyboard: Stickers and GIFs
Keyboard with a neon theme
Neon Theme – Android Keyboard
Cash register cleaner
FastCleaner: Cash Cleaner
Call Appearances – Caller Themes
CallMe phone themes
InCall: Background of the contact
MyCall – Personalization of calls
Funny Wallpapers – Live Screen
Automatic 4K wallpaper changer
NewScreen: 4D wallpapers
Stock Wallpapers and Backgrounds
Notes – reminders and lists
At the same time, you should also avoid installing apps from unknown sources and instead download them from official stores like Google Play Store, Amazon App Store, or Samsung Galaxy App Store.
Finally, you should make sure that Google Play Protect is active on your devices, as it regularly checks for malicious apps and warns you if you try to install one.