These 21 Android apps contain adware and can steal your data Delete them now

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India TV Tech Desk
New Delhi

It is suggested that the security firm Avast has found 21 apps that come with HiddenAds malware. The apps mostly are gaming apps and lure people into downloading by promising great gaming and virtual experience. However, in reality, the apps just fill your phone with intrusive ads and can even cost you money and track your data.  For those who don’t know, the HiddenAds Trojan is a type of malware that disguises as a safe app but is meant to serve loads of ads. 

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Apart from containing adware (a software to show you loads of ads in and outside of the app and even track you for specific ad display), these apps can have a ‘stealth’ tactic to have their app icon hidden so that they can’t be found and deleted.

A total of 21 apps have been found. While three of them have been removed from the Google Play Store, the other 19 apps still exist and under investigation. The apps have also garnered around 8 million downloads, meaning they are quite popular. Here’s a look at these apps:

  • Shoot Them
  • Crush Car
  • Rolling Scroll
  • Helicopter Attack – NEW
  • Assassin Legend – 2020 NEW
  • Helicopter Shoot
  • Rugby Pass
  • Flying Skateboard
  • Iron it
  • Shooting Run
  • Plant Monster
  • Find Hidden
  • Find 5 Differences – 2020 NEW
  • Rotate Shape
  • Jump Jump
  • Find the Differences – Puzzle Game
  • Sway Man
  • Desert Against
  • Money Destroyer
  • Cream Trip – NEW
  • Props Rescue

Additionally, users have suggested that they came across these ads via YouTube adverts. Talking about the threat, Jakub Vávra, Threat Analyst at Avast, said: “Developers of adware are increasingly using social media channels like regular marketers would. This time, users reported they were targeted with ads promoting the games on YouTube.”

Back in September, Avast found adware being spread via TikTok. “In September we saw adware spread via TikTok. The popularity of these social networks make them an attractive advertising platform, also for cybercriminals, to target a younger audience. While Google is doing everything possible to prevent HiddenAds from entering its Play Store, the malicious apps keep finding new ways to disguise their true purpose, thus slipping through to the platform and then to users’ phones.”

Users are advised to stay alert while downloading such apps. Users should always look for the ratings and reviews before installing them as reviews can effectively tell how good or bad an app is. Additionally, you can visit the app developer’s account for more information. If only one app is listed under their name, this your cue to refrain from downloading it. This is because adware app developers tend to have one app so that in case their account gets blocked, they ‘don’t lose multiple apps.’

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