Android adware apps on Google Play amass two million installs


Several malicious Google Play Android apps installed over 2 million times push intrusive ads to users while concealing their presence on the infected devices.

In their latest monthly mobile threat report, Doctor Web’s analysts identified trojans on Google Play associated with the ‘FakeApp,’ ‘Joker,’ and the ‘HiddenAds’ malware families.

Of particular interest are the following four adware (HiddenAds) apps disguised as games:

  • Super Skibydi Killer – 1,000,000 downloads
  • Agent Shooter – 500,000 downloads
  • Rainbow Stretch – 50,000 downloads
  • Rubber Punch 3D – 500,000 downloads
HiddenAds game app on Google Play
HiddenAds game app on Google Play (Dr. Web)

Dr. Web explains that once victims install these apps on their devices, they hide by replacing their icons with that of Google Chrome or using a transparent icon image to create empty space in the app drawer.

These apps run stealthily in the background upon launch, abusing the browser to launch ads and generate revenue for their operators.

The analysts also discovered several apps belonging to the FakeApp family, which direct users to investment scam sites.

In other cases, Dr. Web spotted game apps that loaded dubious online casino websites in violation of Google Play policies. 

Some notable examples of those are:

  • Eternal Maze (Yana Pospyelova) – 50,000 downloads
  • Jungle Jewels (Vaibhav Wable) – 10,000 downloads
  • Stellar Secrets (Pepperstocks) – 10,000 downloads
  • Fire Fruits (Sandr Sevill) – 10,000 downloads
  • Cowboy’s Frontier (Precipice Game Studios) – 10,000 downloads
  • Enchanted Elixir (Acomadyi) – 10,000 downloads
Fake app leading users to casino sites
Fake app taking users to casino sites (Dr. Web)

Finally, the antivirus team spotted two Joker family apps on Google Play, which subscribe users to premium paid services:

  • Love Emoji Messenger (Korsinka Vimoipan) – 50,000 downloads
  • Beauty Wallpaper HD (fm0989184) – 1,000 downloads

All the apps presented in this report have been removed from Google Play by the time of writing. 

Still, users who might

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Android apps with 2.5 million downloads displaying ads with display off

In an era where smartphone usage has become an important part of our daily lives, the convenience and functionality provided by smartphone apps cannot be overstated.

However, recent reports have uncovered a disconcerting trend where popular Android apps with over 2.5 million downloads are continuing to display ads — even when the device’s display is turned off.

This invasive behaviour not only compromises user experience but also raises concerns about data privacy and security. Here’s how you can protect yourself from this rising trend in mobile apps.

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The Disturbing Trend

Forty-three apps that were available on Google’s Play Store were found to run in the background and fraudulently earn money for the app’s developer. The full list of these apps can be found on McAfee’s website.

The discovery of Android apps with significant download numbers engaging in secretive ad behaviour has sent shockwaves through the mobile app ecosystem.

Research conducted by Bleeping Computer and McAfee security has revealed that a considerable number of seemingly innocuous apps continue to display advertisements even when a user’s device screen is turned off. This phenomenon is not only an annoyance but also raises legitimate concerns about how these apps are functioning behind the scenes.

The Potential Risks

Privacy Concerns: Apps that display ads when the device’s display is off could potentially access personal and sensitive user information without their consent. While not all apps engaged in this behaviour may have malicious intent, the act itself demonstrates a disregard for user privacy.

Battery Drain: Displaying ads, even when the screen is off, can have a significant impact on

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Over 1.5 million Android users downloaded spyware apps that are sending data to China

Delete these apps NOW! More than 1.5 million Android users downloaded spyware applications that are scraping data and sending it to China

More than 1.5 million Androids users are at risk of Chinese hackers after two spyware apps were found in the Google Play Store.

Anyone with the apps File Recovery & Data Recovery and File Manager are being urged to delete them from devices manually, as they are scraping personal information. 

This data includes contact lists, pictures, videos and real-time user location. 

Cybersecurity firm Pradeo made the discovery and reported the malicious apps to Google – the tech giant has since removed them.

Security researchers have uncovered two spyware apps on Google Play that send user data to China - and more than 1.5 million Android owners downloaded them

Security researchers have uncovered two spyware apps on Google Play that send user data to China – and more than 1.5 million Android owners downloaded them

Wang Tom is shown as the developer of both apps, mentioning they do not collect users’ data.

However, Pradeo found this to be false upon a deeper analysis.

Pradeo also revealed that the two apps hide their home screen icons, making finding and removing them more difficult. 

The apps, updated at the end of June,  also abuse the permissions the user approves during installation to restart the device and launch in the background.

And the publisher likely bloated the popularity of the apps to get more attention on Google Play, BleepingComputer reports.

Pradeo found the apps can scrape contact lists connected to email accounts, social networks and those stored on the device.

Users’ pictures, audio and video are also vulnerable, along with their location, mobile country code and network provider name. 

Cybersecurity firm Pradeo made the discovery and reported the malicious apps to Google. This data being collected includes contact lists, pictures, videos and real-time user location.

Cybersecurity firm Pradeo made the discovery and reported the malicious apps to Google. This data being collected includes contact lists, pictures, videos and real-time user

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The Google Play Store blocked over a million bad apps last year

The Google Play Store is often criticized for unjustly booting innocent developers and their apps from the platform. At the same time, the Play Store has to keep bad actors from entering the app market in the first place, and if you put this into perspective, it gets clear that falsely blocked accounts are a communication problem more than anything else. To show how successful its methods are, Google has released its annual overview of how it fought bad apps and actors in 2022.


According to the company’s blog post, Google blocked a whopping 1.43 million policy-violating apps from appearing on the Play Store in the first place. Google says this is partially because of its improved security features and some policy enhancements as well as better machine learning algorithms. In the process, the company suspended 173,000 bad accounts and estimates that it prevented $2 billion of fraudulent transactions. To make it harder for bad actors to enter the platform, new developers have to verify themselves with phone, email, or other methods.

An overview of how many accounts and bad apps Google blocked in 2022.

In an effort to force existing apps to comply with stricter privacy policies, the company also blocked 500,000 existing apps from accessing unneeded sensitive permissions over the last three years. At the same time, Google says it’s making an effort to help developers follow the best practices. A new SDK index is supposed to help developers gauge whether including a given SDK makes sense for their apps or if there are any problematic data sharing practices.

Over the past year, Google additionally added further safeguards to keep people with Android phones safe. The company is further forcing apps to comply with newer Target APIs to show up on the Play Store, meaning that developers will have to

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Distinctive method for inventive workforce improvement secures $1.1 million grant

COLORADO SPRINGS — In the kitchen of Chicken Tree Café together Tejon Avenue in downtown Colorado Springs, Josh Skaggs thoroughly cuts up greens.

He is in the 1st course of a culinary arts and hospitality apprentice system called Culinary Capstone.

“I cook dinner a good deal at home. And I needed to see what that looks like in the even larger picture. At a cafe, the front conclusion, the back conclude. And yeah, just get my toes soaked.”

A career in the arts is typically involved with becoming on phase but the artistic workforce is much additional.

Culinary arts are an example.

Now, this special new education and learning application in Colorado Springs will foster individuals careers.

“To be instruction a workforce or to be aiding to train a workforce, that is heading to enable give the business what it desires in that regard is incredibly significant, stated Chef Dustin Archuleta from Fowl Tree Café

Archuleta is between a 50 % dozen area chefs supporting the apprentice application.

The students spend four months education at the Shovel Completely ready eatery which is an extension of the Metropolis Auditorium revitalization challenge.

Then they head to do the job with cooks at other locations in the city.

“Figure out how to be the finest by understanding by means of the finest. And that’s one thing that I didn’t get that information,” mentioned Archuleta, “You know, I just form of stumbled by right until I ended up studying enough to get to where by I am now.”

The paid-to-discover method was started by the Local community Cultural Collective.

It is the same team doing the job to restore the historic Metropolis Auditorium and turn it into a middle for the arts.

“It’s a actually amazing software to be ready to get compensated to

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