17 Trojan Apps on Google Play that can steal personal user data: Avast Reported

Google Play is said to have more than 17 Trojan Apps that could be part of a Trojan family identified as HiddenAdverts reported by Avast. The apps are found to be part of a more extensive promotional campaign by HiddenAdverts which initially focused on users in India and Southeast Asia. Nevertheless, Avast researchers team has found that such apps are Trojan Apps on Google Play that can steal personal user data. Avast has reported that the Trojan apps are developed as video games, but programmed to display misleading advertising and can steal user’s data. The researchers found that the Trojan apps had the versatility to shield their icons from the affected gadgets and display scheduled advertisements that could not be skipped.

The Avast researchers team initially identified approximately 47 apps related to the HiddenAds family of Trojan. However, Google removed 30 of suspicious apps when the Avast (antivirus company) received the report.

Google removes spying chat App ToTok from the Play Store for a second time

“Once the user downloads the app, a timer starts within the app. The user is allowed to play the game for a set period of time, after which the timer triggers the hide icon feature of the app,” published by Avast Threat Operations Analyst Jakub Vávra, in a blog post. “Once the icon is hidden, the app starts to display ads throughout the device without needing further actions from the user.

Many of the Trojan apps found by the Avast researchers’ team also tend to open the browser to display users’ intrusive advertisements. Since after a specific period, the apps cover their icon, their customers cannot learn the significance of the ads they see on their mobile screens. That said, the Trojan apps can still be deleted through the device’s app manager.

The Avast team have learned that each of the apps discovered had a different author with a standard email address mentioned on Google Play. “The Terms of Service are similar across the discovered apps, probably pointing to one actor’s active campaign,” added Vávra.

Google has pushed 50 + organizations to act against Android bloatware

The apps that bring the Trojan HiddenAds were downloaded over by 15 Million users in total. Find Hidden Differences, Skate Board-New, Tony Shoot-NEW, Stacking Guys and Spot Hidden Differences are some of the most downloaded titles that were alive at the time of publishing this article.

The researcher’s study discovered the most prevalence of the HiddenAds campaign through the apps in Brazil, Turkey and India. It further extended across several areas, however.

An email was sent to Google for further details but did not receive a response yet.

It’s not the first time that Trojan Apps on Google Play are discovered.

This is notably not the first time when Google Play is found to have the apps that have the potential to steal user information. In July last year, Avast detected apps that were installed a combined 1,30,000 times with the nature of stalking users. Bot mitigation company White Ops in its research paper published earlier this month also revealed that Google removed at least 38 apps from its Google Play store that infested Android devices with out-of-context advertisements.

Google banned a Chinese app developer with more than 600 million downloads

Importantly, it’s not the first time that Trojan Apps on Google Play are being discovered having the ability to steal user data. Avast found applications that had been activated a total 1,30,000 times in July of last year with the essence of consumers hacking. White Ops, a bot management service, also disclosed in its research article released earlier this month that Google banned at least 38 apps from its Google Play store that littered Android devices with out-of-context ads.

Steps to stay away from such Trojan Apps on Google Play

Avast has urged users to look carefully for such apps request permissions while installing them on their smartphones. It is also essential that you take some patience to study the privacy policy and the terms of service of the installed apps. Additionally, users are advised to avoid installing the apps which have received a significant number of negative feedback.

ES File Explorer Removed From Google Play Store [DO Scandal]



Recent Articles

Apple’s 5G iPhone is still set to launch amid COVID-19 this year, reports

Apple fans mostly know what to expect from the upcoming 5G iPhone, from its likely new colours to its included super-fast 5G wireless capabilities. What...

Windows 10 Start menu design and Alt-tab will be updated: Report

Microsoft is introducing a brand new Windows 10 Start menu design that may de-emphasize its Live Tiles. The software giant first hinted on the...

Facebook’s latest proof-of-concept VR headset looks like a pair of goggles

Facebook is aiming to make VR glasses smaller and more "socially acceptable." The company's glass-like prototype virtual reality headset (proof-of-concept) has been unveiled in...

Google’s Stadia controller now works with android devices wirelessly

It took more than six months, but now Google's Stadia controller is finally working wirelessly on Android devices. Google initially released its Stadia platform back...

Facebook finally introducing a dark mode for mobile devices

After a long time, Facebook dark mode for mobile devices is almost ready for release, and some fortunate users have also been able to...

Related Stories