Google has removed around 30 apps from its Play Store on grounds of them engaging in fraudulent advertising on users’ devices. These apps are really popular and have amassed about 20 million downloads since their inception.
Cybercriminal groups specifically picked out the beauty and selfie market of Google Play Store and pushed undesirable and objectionable advertisements and intrusive URL redirects to users without their permission.
Main malpractices of these problematic apps
According to The White Ops Satori Threat Intelligence and Research Team the main fraudulent practices of these apps are:
- “Out-of-Context (OOC) Ads: Rendering OOC ads including native and interstitial, from major ad-networks.
- Out-of-Context Navigation: Launching out-of-context navigation intents to URLs received from the command and control server (C2).
- Removal of App Icon: Remove the app icon from the device’s home and apps folder, to make it difficult for the user to uninstall the app”.
The White Ops Satori Threat Intelligence and Research Team informed through its blog post that it is continuously monitoring these threats and will identify any emerging adaptations and new apps with illicit content.
Cybercriminals updated their technology and illegitimate means after the Satori research team identified their malpractices which basically made it quite impossible for Google to get rid of all of these apps completely.
It is like an unending mouse-cat game where researchers are untiringly working to identify potential security threats and cybercriminals are upgrading their techniques simultaneously to chase away the safety developers.
It involves repeated actions to catch the unlawful cyber-activities and repeated escapes from the hand of the Google security team.
List of malicious apps to be deleted
Some of the malicious apps to be uninstalled are given below:
• Solu Camera
• Yoroko Camera
• Lite Beauty Camera
• Beauty Collage Lite
• Beauty & Filters Camera
• Photo Collage & Beauty Camera
• Beauty Camera Selfie Filter
• Benbu Selfie Beauty Camera
• Pint Selfie Beauty Camera & Photo Editor
• Mood Photo Editor & Selfie Beauty Camera
• Rose Photo Editor & Selfie Beauty Camera
• Pro Selfie Beauty Camera
• Selfie Beauty Camera Pro
• Elegant Beauty Cam-2019
Be prudent and stay secure
Google always works to improve its security procedures and tries to offer the best protection against malware, adware, spyware, and illicit access to user information.
However, it is our duty and responsibility as well to take necessary precautionary measures before downloading any third-party software and apps.
To prevent yourself from getting into trouble in the future, hit the download button only after checking if the developer of the app is authorized and trustworthy or not. Also, check the reviews and ratings of the application to be sure of its utility and value.
Thus, our safety and security lie in our own hands. Be alert and agile. Your cautiousness matters a lot.
Don’t recklessly download any app from the Play Store without having any background knowledge. Be an informed, intelligent, and smart Android user!
Image credits: Google Images
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