The Google Play Store contained over two-hundred Android apps, infected with malware, adware, stalkerware, and more malicious code…
Just a couple of weeks ago, Google removed seven apps from the Play Store after antivirus maker Avast found them to contain stalkerware code. Now, many times more have been discovered by ESET malware researcher, Lukas Stefanko.
Google Play Hosted 205 Mobile Apps with Android Malware, Downloaded more than 32 Million Times
The Google Play Store hosted 205 apps containing sketchy Android code. What’s more, those mobile software programs were installed more than 32 million times.
Most of the bad apps — 188 — contained hidden apps, making up 19.2 million downloads. The rest of them contained subscription scams, ad fraud, stalkerware, fake apps, fake antivirus tools, adware, and software equipped with backdoors.
Stefanko explains to The Next Web the following about apps containing hidden ads and the whole lot of bad apples:
“Upon launch, these apps hide their icons from the home screen. They have mostly no functionality, other than displaying fullscreen ads to the user. All these apps and numbers are based on research, blogs, reports, and tweets published in July, 2019 by the infosec community.”
Review of harmful apps on Google Play in July 2019:
Summary: 205 apps with over 32,471,100 installs.
— Lukas Stefanko (@LukasStefanko) August 1, 2019