February 22, 2020
Google Play Store hosted apps infected with ad revenue scheme

Scammers Exploiting Google Play Store Apps to Inundate People with Inescapable Ads

Over one-hundred Android mobile applications have been hijacked by scammers in order to serve up inescapable ads to steal ad revenue…

Google continues to have a problem with malicious apps getting past Play Store security guidelines. The mobile application portal was found yet again to be hosting more than one-hundred programs that contained ad revenue schemes.

Most of the infected apps first appeared in mid-September, but almost all of them have now been removed. Said apps have been downloaded 4.6 million times.

Scammers Exploiting Play Store Apps for Ad Revenue Scheme

Scammers embedded clandestine code that served up ads to unsuspecting people who downloaded the applications. The mobile apps were for fortune-telling, selfie-taking, bug removal, and games. However, once installed, please infected apps would in some cases, display loud, full-screen, inescapable ads. Other ads were miniature and persistent.

But, the purpose of infecting these apps with adware isn’t merely to annoy people who downloaded the applications. Instead, the goal is to collect money for serving the ads.

Inna Vasilyeva, a threat intelligence analyst at White Ops, explains:

“The code has aggressive persistence mechanisms. Once we started looking into one application, we could see that it was related to what a lot of other apps were doing.”

Bill Boyles

Bill is a freelance writer who covers a wide range of topics, including apps, social media, and search.

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