These malicious Android apps have over a million downloads – remove them now

Security researchers have discovered a group of four new malicious android apps from the same developer who managed to bypass Google’s defenses and end up on the Play Store using a bit of trickery.

As reported by BeepComputer (opens in a new tab) and discovered by Malwarebytesthe malicious apps in question display intrusive ads and annoying pop-ups, but they can also infect your Android smartphone with malware.

Even though these four rogue apps have less than favorable reviews on the Play Store, they have still been downloaded over a million times combined. This shows that many users click Install before scrolling down a Play Store listing to read reviews. If you want to stay safe from bad apps like these, you should always read their reviews before jeopardizing the security of your smartphone and your data.

Delete these apps now

At the time of writing, all the apps listed below are still available for download on the Play Store despite their developer. Mobile Application Group (opens in a new tab) get in trouble for distribution adware on the official Google App Store twice in the past.

Nathan Collier from Malwarebytes provided additional information on the matter in a blog post (opens in a new tab)saying, “It’s disappointing that Mobile apps Group has persisted on the Google Play Store after having malicious apps in the past – twice! It’s unclear whether malicious versions prior to January 19, 2022 (versions 2.2 and earlier) have already been caught by Google Play. Since version 2.3 was clean, it seems likely that the developers got caught and uploaded a clean version.

If any of these apps are installed on your Android smartphone or tablet, you should remove it immediately to avoid seeing intrusive ads or, even worse, infecting your devices with malware.

  • Bluetooth Auto Connect – 1,000,000+ installs
  • Bluetooth app sender – 50,000+ installs
  • Driver: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB – 10,000+ installs
  • Mobile transfer: smart switch – 1,000+ installs

Dormant to avoid detection

Breaking through Google’s defenses and ending up on the Play Store can be difficult for malicious apps, which is why these four apps from the Mobile App Group wait 72 hours before showing ads or opening links. phishing in a user’s browser according to Malwarebytes.

From there, apps open other phishing pages or show intrusive ads every two hours, even when a device is locked. Once a user unlocks their Android phone or tablet, they will find phishing sites and advertisements open in their browser.

By hiding their malicious behavior for three days, these apps were able to bypass security checks that took place before they were listed on the Play Store. Still, negative reviews that mention spam and intrusive ads should have caught Google’s attention. It’s also worth noting that Mobile apps Group responded to many of these negative reviews, but the developer tried to convince dissatisfied users to upgrade to paid versions of its apps instead.

Tom’s Guide has contacted Mobile Apps Group regarding these apps and their malicious behavior, but we have yet to hear back as of press time. However, we’ll update this article when and if we hear back.

How to protect yourself from malicious apps and adware

smartphone malware

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

To avoid falling victim to mobile malware and adware, you should first carefully consider the pros and cons of any new app you want to install. Do you really need this app in the first place? From there, you should take a look at reviews, but it’s also a good idea to look for external reviews (preferably video reviews) from reviews on the Play Store. can be faked.

Once you’ve installed a new app, you should monitor your Android smartphone’s battery usage and network data activity to make sure that new app isn’t doing anything misleading in the background. You will also need to pay attention to which permissions you grant to any new app you install, as the permissions can be abused to display unwanted ads or infect your smartphone with malware.

While you need to make sure Google Play Protect is enabled on your devices to scan for malware in the background, you can install one of the best android antivirus apps also for extra protection. The better protection against identity theft services can also be useful when recovering from malware infection

Malicious apps and adware are an easy way for cyber criminals, hackers and spammers to make money and steal your data. So this problem is not going away anytime soon. This means that you should remain vigilant and be extra careful when installing new apps on your devices.

Comments are closed.