Google has acted on 85 adware apps by removing them from the Play Store. Spotted by security researchers at Trend Micro, these included popular games and utility apps that deceptively displayed ads. These apps were showing hidden and full-screen ads, and ads there were running in background to squeeze money from Android users.
The 85 apps that were found pushing adware affected at least 9 million users. The researchers found one popular app – universal TV remote, which alone was downloaded by five million users. This is despite the fact that the app had several complaints and negative reviews that ads were ‘hidden in the background,’ the report said. Many users also said that they were unable to use the app as it displayed soo many ads.
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Researchers mentioned that after testing each app, they found that most of them had a similar code, and a lot of them were named similarly too. The app would display an ad on every tap or click, and in doing so, it generates money for the developer.
Still, adware app may not be as bad as malware apps that steal your data. But there is a risk where some ads can be malicious, containing hidden code that could trick users into installing malware, and thus amounting thousands of fraudulent ad dollars every week.
Google is putting its efforts in scanning apps before they are published on the Play Store. In the last one year alone, the search giant has removed over 700,000 malicious apps, TechCrunch reports. Yet, such malware apps continue to crop up every now and then.