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A malicious adware family hiding as game, TV, and remote control simulator apps affected 9 million users on the Google Play Store. The adware shows full-screen advertisements and tracks the device's unlocking action while running in the background, as reported by Trend Micro.
At least nine million users across the globe fell prey to these 85 'fake' apps around the world and after the report came out, Google suspended the apps from the Play store. After thorough testing it was found out that these apps are from different developers however, they have different APK-certificate public keys, and also have the same code.
The 'Easy Universal TV Remote', that allows the user to use their phone as a universal remote is the most downloaded app from the lot, the report says. The app was downloaded more than 5 million times, and also received complaints in the comment section.
The app works normally but it keeps asking users to click on the ads that keeping showing up now and then. As the user exits the full-screen ad, the app hides the icon of the device. However, the app keeps running in the background even after the icon is invisible. The adware is configured in a way that it will pop up ad after every 15 or 30 minutes.
The best way to stay unaffected is to remove such apps from your phone. However, putting your phone in a deadlock or getting disturbed by ads will be a huge problem for those who rely on their smartphones very much.
Previously, it was reported that the popular messaging app Telegram was leaking both public and private IP addresses whenever users made voice calls to its peer-to-peer framework. While the mobile app offers the option to turn off peer-to-peer calls and keep the information intact, the desktop version offered no such choice. This could open the users to attack or reveal their exact location.