22 Android apps removed from Google Play Store over ad fraud and malware

If you had installed any of these apps, we suggest that you uninstall them and reset your phone in order to weed out the malware, if any.

    A few days back, we came across a report that 13 malicious apps were removed from Google Play. Now, in an attempt to get rid of malware and fraud, Google has removed 22 more apps from the Play Store. It is said that these apps were engaged in click fraud. Notably, one of these apps reached the milestone of one million downloads.

    22 Android apps removed from Google Play Store over malware

     

    The apps with malicious code were discovered by Sophos. In addition to letting click fraud, these apps were able to retrieve malicious files from the servers and used a significantly high amount of data and battery power.

    Collectively, all these 22 apps have been downloaded over 2 million times via the Play Store. And, these apps have also executed the ad fraud by faking ad requests. These ads were retrieved though the apps aren't active and generated a fake click response without the consent of the users. This robs the legitimate advertisers of a major amount of ad revenue. Once the Sophos findings were out, the apps were removed from Play Store.

    These are the apps that have been removed from Play Store.

    • Sparkle FlashLight
    • Snake Attack
    • Math Solver
    • ShapeSorter
    • Tak A Trip
    • Magnifeye
    • Join Up
    • Zombie Killer
    • Space Rocket
    • Neon Pong
    • Just Flashlight
    • Table Soccer
    • Cliff Diver
    • Box Stack
    • Jelly Slice
    • AK Blackjack
    • Color Tiles
    • Animal Match
    • Roulette Mania
    • HexaFall
    • HexaBlocks
    • PairZap

    These apps are believed to have used a lot of data as they were communicating with the home server continuously in the background. In addition to data consumption, it also resulted in faster battery drain. However, the major concern is not these but the installation of a malicious code from the connected server that can infect the device with virus, malware, etc.

    Another major issue is that the users were not aware of the high data usage and power consumption of these apps. Eventually, there wasn't any suspicion about these apps. And, there were positive reviews about these apps on the Play Store, thereby leaving no doubts.

     

    If you had installed any of these apps, we suggest that you uninstall them and reset your phone in order to weed out the malware, if any.

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