Android users should now take note considering the fact that a staggering 22 apps have now seemingly been taken down on the Google Play Store as these were found to be malicious and untrustworthy. The key here is that these applications have said to have seen over 1 million downloads in a period of one year.
Now, an ArsTechnica report, quoting a blog post by antivirus solution provider Sophos, makes references to the app called Sparkle Flashlight that was said to have been downloaded more than a million times. The Sophos blog post also mentions about as many as three apps being flagged for suspicious behaviour; these items reportedly exhibited malice over a period of more than an year.
However, a greater number out of the 22 apps, pulled from Google Play, are said to have exhibited malicious activity starting from June 2018. Nonetheless, the three “older” apps are suspected by Sophos to have become vulnerable to Trojans over a period of time; rather than display deception from the very time since they made their debuts on Google Play.
Also, these apps were reportedly being difficult for Android users to detect considering the fact that they reported user activity to a command-and-control server. These are also said to have acted as genuine downloadable files and games and caused users to stimulate a number of in-app activities unbeknownst. In case, you installed these apps, then you should have, at least some point in time, noticed comparatively increased data usage by these apps. Also, advertisers were also seemingly being tricked by these apps into believing that clicks originated from genuine users (iPhone), thereby drawing in revenue to the app creators through fraudulent means.
Now, Google has taken down these apps, effective November 25. Sophos states that the key deception aspect employed by these fraudulent apps was advertisements which could still be active. Hence, it should do a world of good for you to keep a tab on the apps mentioned below:
Do share thoughts and insights on these apps now being taken down, and if you installed these within your Android mobile devices.