Over 2 Million Android Users Have These Malicious Apps; Delete Them: Another slew of malicious Android apps propagating phishing, malware, and ads have been found in the Google Play Store.
According to Bleeping Computer(opens in new tab), and as initially found by the antivirus company Dr. Web, these apps masquerade as system utilities and optimizers in order to fool unwary users into downloading them.
In the past, we have seen malicious apps on the Play Store pose as useful system functions in order to infect unsuspecting users’ Android devices with malware.
Get rid of these apps immediately
Google has since deleted all of the dangerous apps listed below from the Play Store. If you still have any of them on your Android tablet or smartphone, you should uninstall them right once to protect your device and its contents from potential harm.
- Bluetooth device auto-connect – 1,000,000 downloads
- Bluetooth & Wi-Fi & USB driver – 100,000 downloads
- Volume, Music Equalizer – 50,000 downloads
- Fast Cleaner & Cooling Master – 500 downloads
A Google representative elaborated on the apps in concern in a response to Tom’s Guide, saying:
“The report’s findings resulted in the removal of every app from Google Play. When we discover an app that does not adhere to our security and privacy guidelines, we remove it immediately.”
Simulating useful tools and optimization features
When compared to the other harmful apps detailed in Dr. Web’s latest report(opens in new tab), TubeBox has over a million downloads, making it the most popular. The software claims to reward users for watching videos and advertisements, but it never delivers.
If a user were to accumulate enough coins within the app, they wouldn’t be able to cash them in due to a variety of bugs and issues that have been documented by TubeBox. According to Dr. Web’s experts, the app’s developers made it that way on purpose so that users would keep watching videos and adverts, benefiting the developers but not the consumers.
Fast Cleaner & Cooling Master, Volume, Music Equalizer, and Bluetooth & Wi-Fi & USB Driver were all instructed to load specific websites in order to produce phony ad impressions. Fast Cleaner & Cooling Master distinguishes out among this adware software because its authors can also utilize a compromised system to relay their own traffic.
Dr. Web also discovered six separate Russian lending apps that lured users with the promise of instant cash but instead led them to phishing sites where their personal information was collected and perhaps sold.
The best practices for avoiding risky apps
Google Play Protect should be activated and kept up-to-date on all Android devices in order to safeguard users from potentially harmful apps available in the Play Store and other official app stores. This free tool from Google checks both the apps you’ve already installed on your device and any new ones you download for malicious software. In any case, you can take extra precautions by installing an antivirus program on your Android device.
However, restricting the number of apps loaded on your devices is ultimately the easiest approach to remaining protected from dangerous programs. The question of whether or not you actually need a new app is one you should always ask yourself before downloading one. It’s possible that the greatest Android phones already have the feature or functionality you need built-in or are available in one of the standard apps that come preinstalled on the device. The fewer apps you have on your device, the less likely you are to get a virus or have your information stolen.
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