Android users should remove these 47 malicious apps - here’s why

By Stephanie Rendall
Thursday, 25th June 2020, 12:05 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th June 2020, 12:40 pm
The security team at Avast have now discovered an additional 47 malicious apps which are not limited to the beauty sector. (Shutterstock)
The security team at Avast have now discovered an additional 47 malicious apps which are not limited to the beauty sector. (Shutterstock)

Android users are being warned yet again about 47 more malicious apps to delete from their devices.

Last week Android users were advised to remove 38 popular apps still on their devices after Google removed them from the Google Play Store.

The apps in question were mostly beauty and selfie apps.

However, a security team at Avast have now discovered an additional 47 malicious apps which are not limited to the beauty sector.

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    These apps can be downloaded on the Google Play Store, and have been found to contain software that spams users with adverts, as well as intrusive browser redirects.

    Who is behind these cyber threats?

    A team of researchers at WhiteOps, the security firm that discovered the first 38 malicious apps announced last week, believes a criminal group is responsible for these apps.

    The Adware seen in these apps is all too common, as it's an easy way for cyber criminals to make money out of unsuspecting users unwittingly clicking on pop up adverts.

    Why it's important to delete these apps

    These apps can leave devices nearly completely unusable once targeted.

    It is always best to delete these apps to avoid exposing your phone to unnecessary threats.

    However, it is best not to install them in the first place.

    These apps are able to hide their icon and overall presence on an infected device, which makes it nearly impossible to find and delete them.

    This is because sometimes even removing the apps won't always get rid of the threats as some apps have been designed to continue opening pop up adverts, long after they've been uninstalled.

    Has Google banned these apps?

    While Google has banned most of the 47 apps, around 17 remain on Google's Play Store according to Avast, the security firm which discovered them.

    This is likely because malicious apps are able to creep into the Play Store undetected by hiding their true purpose behind the guise of a harmless app, and only then slowly adding in the malicious features after it has already been downloaded by users.

    It is also very hard for Google to stop such hidden adware campaigns, as the criminals behind the threats tend to use new fake developer accounts to upload each app.

    Jakub Vávra, threat analyst at Avast defended Google, explaining that "while Google has been a great partner to remove malicious apps, users need to remain vigilant as they download new apps on their devices and check for telltale signs of a bad app such as negative reviews, extensive device permission requests and more.”

    Here is Avast’s list of the most popular apps which contain malicious adware:

    Draw Color by Number • Downloads - 1,000,000Skate Board - New • Downloads - 1,000,000Find Hidden Differences • Downloads - 1,000,000Shoot Master • Downloads - 1,000,000Stacking Guys • Downloads - 1,000,000Disc Go! • Downloads - 1,000,000Spot Hidden Differences • Downloads - 500,000Dancing Run - Color Ball Run • Downloads - 500,000Find 5 Differences • Downloads - 500,000Joy Woodworker • Downloads - 500,000Throw Master • Downloads - 500,000Throw into Space • Downloads - 500,000Divide it - Cut & Slice Game • Downloads - 500,000Tony Shoot - NEW • Downloads - 500,000Assassin Legend • Downloads - 500,000Flip King • Downloads - 500,000Save Your Boy • Downloads - 500,000Assassin Hunter 2020 • Downloads - 500,000Stealing Run • Downloads - 500,000Fly Skater 2020 • Downloads - 500,000