Google has urgently removed 85 Android apps on its Play Store as a response to Trend Micro’s report on detecting hidden adware on the said apps. The adware were disguised as various game, TV, and remote control simulator apps on the Play Store, and has been collectively downloaded and installed a whopping 9 million times. The most downloaded among the 85 apps was the “Easy Universal TV Remote”, which claimed to serve as a substitute for remote controls where the user can use their phones or tablets as a universal remote control for their televisions. The list of the 85 adware apps are all listed here.
Upon testing, Trend Micro researchers found that the fake apps related to the adware exhibit similar behaviors and also share the same code, despite assumingly coming from different creators. With the test, researchers found that the fake apps load slowly, and then crashes a few seconds after. Users will then assume that the app is already closed, but unbeknownst to them, it is still running in the device’s background as hidden; the adware is now configured to inconveniently show a full-screen ad every 15 or 30 minutes on the user’s device.
These fake apps can be removed manually through the uninstall feature, but it would prove to be tricky as full-screen ads show up from time to time each time the user unlocks their devices. In order to prevent such circumstances in the future, you need to have reliable security protection for your android devices. Trend Micro Mobile Security for Android Smartphones and Tablets serves as the best shield for alarming threats such as these. It prevents unauthorised access to applications, protects your devices against various web threats, and additionally, boosts your device’s performance.