Its been always a matter of curiosity that how adware apps tricked android users. Dozens of Android apps disguised as photo editor apps and android games have been caught serving ads that take over users’ screens. This type of money-making scheme was always there. but it has become highly active recently.
Trend Micro, a security firm said that they have found 85 individual apps downloaded more than 8 million times from Google Play store, all of which have since been removed from the Google Play Store.
Generally, adware apps will run on a user’s device and silently serve and click ads in the background and without the user’s knowledge. And thus it generates ad revenue. According to one researcher, these apps were particularly brazen and sneaky. To save yourself, you need to know, how adware apps tricked android users.
Ocular Xu, a mobile threat response engineer at Trend Micro said, apart from displaying advertisements that are difficult to close, it deploys unique techniques to evade detection through users’ behavior and time-based triggers.
You must check “22 Fake Scripted Apps Removed From Google Play Store.“
How to detect tricky adware?
The researchers discovered that such adware apps will keep a record when they were installed and sit idle for around half-an-hour. After the delay, the adware hides its icon and creates a shortcut on the user’s home screen. consequently, it helps to protect the app from deletion. As a result, if the user decides to drag and drop the shortcut to the “uninstall” section of the screen, they cant. thus you will come to know if the app is an adware or not.
What do the researchers say?
According to the researchers, these adware shows ads in full screen. Furthermore, adware forces the user to watch the whole duration of the ad before closing it or go back to the app itself. When the user opens the app, it displayed ads on the user’s home screen. The algorithm of the adware makes sure it doesn’t show the same ad too frequently. Furthermore, anyone can remotely configure the ads to display more frequently than the default five-minute intervals.
Trend Micro, the security firm has provided a list of the apps. the list contains, apps like Super Selfie Camera, Cos Camera, Pop Camera, and One Stroke Line Puzzle. All of these have around million downloads each.
As the app has millions of downloads as well as high ratings, other android users download them to try. but certainly, that’s like digging your own grave. However, a lot of users rates these apps low for its pop up ads and other problems. but people are concerned about their entertainment rather than their privacy and clean device.
Google doesn’t comment on app removals but acknowledges its removal from Google Play. Anyways you have got to know now how adware apps tricked android users. So, stay alert and read comments before installing apps.