A new report from HUMAN’s Satori Threat Intelligence team shows that the app checks on the app stores like Google Play and Apple’s App Store don’t catch every piece of malware or adware.
The researchers found that nearly 100 apps contained adware, with a total of 13 million installs.
When these apps are enabled, the software abuses advertising networks to display out-of-context ads or, in some cases, invisible ads.
In turn, the user has no idea that their device is generating ad revenue for the bad actor posing as a developer.
The team reached out to Google and Apple, and these apps have been removed from their app stores. That removal doesn’t mean they disappear off your devices, so it’s time to check your installed apps.
The report doesn’t say that these apps were stealing data. With this in mind, you should still delete them if you have them installed.
Delete these adware apps asap
Apple and Google have removed all of these apps from their app stores, but that doesn’t remove them from your devices. So, time to get deleting if you know you have any of these installed.
NOTE: Any misspellings in this list are intentional, and how the report reads.
Some adware-containing apps got past the App Store’s usually solid checks. Delete any of these apps if they’re installed on your device.
- Loot the Castle
- Shinning Gun
- Rope Runner
- n/a (Tony Runs Game)
- Run Bridge
- Racing Legend 30
- Wood Sculptor
- Ninja Critical Hit
Some of the Android apps in the report don’t include the app name, only the package name. Those have a zero-install count, according to Google Play’s statistics. You can check those out in the full report.
As you can see, there is a running theme of lotto scratchers and promises of other incentives for installing the apps.
Just a heads up, you can’t win real money on Apple’s App Store; the company’s policies forbid it.
On the other hand, Google Play has loosened its rules recently, but they are only allowed in specific countries with a valid gambling license.
There also seem to be a lot of puzzle games; presumably, these work as puzzles, and the longer you spend in the app, the longer the criminals have to commit ad fraud.
If you find any of these adware-containing apps on your device, it’s time to delete them. Then, reboot your phone, clearing any cache and running memory.
Android users, you’ll want to enable Google Play Protect, which can remove apps like these automatically.
Apple doesn’t have any clear guidelines for Apple users looking to remove apps, but deleting them and rebooting your device should clear most malware apps.
We suggest sticking to more established developers when downloading new apps. Also, just because something is in the charts in any respected App Store doesn’t mean they’re safe – these rankings get manipulated all the time.
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