Fresh Android adware discovered inside over 200 applications on Play Store

Just Android things: 150m phones, gadgets installed 'adware-ridden' mobe simulator games

Google has now removed the malicious apps from the Google Play app store but only after potentially millions of devices were infected. Also, they noticed that it was not targeting any particular country. The first of the titles listed here was marked at over ten million downloads while the remaining apps were downloaded at least five million times.

In addition, the company suggests developers provide a clear understanding on what the app needs to use location data. Google is changing how apps can be resized, meaning that Android devices with foldable screens should be a little more stable and a little less buggy when it comes to folding and unfolding those displays.

The offering of so many ineffective or deceptive apps could prove confusing to users. Unfortunately, they also identified up to 150 million who have downloaded it unknowingly.

"These updates will help us all provide a more unified and consistent look and feel for Google Play, allowing us to better showcase your apps and games and provide a higher quality user experience", Google mentioned in its blog post. Interestingly, the size of the app icons will remain the same (512x512). The test was extensive, covering the 2,000 most common Android malware variants from the past year. The worst part is that the malicious crew can manipulate each of the apps with the RXDrioder SDK by sending instructions to them.

Check Point uncovered the above malware laced applications, 28th January 2019, after which it notified Google about them.


With its capabilities including opening targeted URLs in the browser, something which could be used to present a user with a fake login page, Check Point noted that "already has the infrastructure to evolve into a much larger threat". In other words, don't ask for "all the time" permission if the feature only requires "while in use" permission. For instance, the malware could install an app without a user's knowledge or show specific notifications.

According to Check Point's Research and Development Manager Jonathan Shimonovich, Google reacted very fast to the discovery.

"While this entry means that all genuine apps made by Adobe (such as the Acrobat Reader app) will be regarded as safe, this mechanism also allows any malicious app to bypass the security scan, simply by using 'com.adobe.*' as its package name", AV Comparatives writes.

Many of these apps are created with the same developer making some of them have a similar interface instead of showing a fully running malware scanner.

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