Malware hits millions of Android users — delete these apps right now | Tom’s Guide

Update August 1st: There is a new report of Android autostart malware infecting millions of devices (Opens in a new tab). and we have a list of more apps you may want to remove.

Another batch of malicious apps packed with adware and malware managed to bypass Google’s defenses and end up on the Play Store.

Reading: Malware android apps

In order to trick unsuspecting users into downloading them, these 36 malicious apps masquerade as image editing tools, virtual keyboards, system optimizers, wallpaper changers, and other useful tools.

While these apps promise to add new features to your android smartphone, they actually deliver intrusive ads, subscribe users to premium services, and steal social media accounts, according to bleepingcomputer (opens in a new tab).

The malicious applications were discovered by security researchers from antivirus software manufacturer dr. website that provided more information about each of the individual apps in a new report (opens in a new tab).

although google removed most of these bad apps from play store, you will need to manually uninstall them if you have any on your android devices.

remove these apps from android: full list

  • photo editor: beauty filter
  • photo editor: retouch & cutout
  • photo editor – art filters
  • photo editor – layout maker
  • photo editor & amp; background eraser
  • photo & exif editor
  • photo editor – filter effects
  • photo filters & amp; effects
  • photo editor: blur image
  • photo editor: cut, paste
  • emoji keyboard: stickers & amp; gif
  • neon theme keyboard
  • neon theme – android keyboard
  • cash cleaner
  • fastcleaner: cash cleaner
  • call skins – call themes
  • funny caller
  • callme phone themes
  • incall: contact background
  • mycall – call customization
  • call theme
  • call theme
  • funny wallpapers – live wallpaper
  • 4k wallpaper auto changer
  • newscrean: 4d wallpapers
  • wallpapers & backgrounds
  • notes – reminders and lists
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adware applications that keep running in the background

In addition to being annoying, adware apps can quickly drain your smartphone’s battery, as many of them are designed to continue running in the background even after you close them.

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those discovered by dr. web are actually modifications of existing adware families that first appeared on the play store in May of this year.

These adware applications can also run on top of other applications by requesting permission to use overlapping windows during installation. however, they can also continue to run in the background by adding themselves to the android battery saver exclusion list.

To make matters worse, many of these adware apps also have the ability to hide their app icons in the app drawer or replace them with a different icon that resembles a core system component, such as “install kit”. sim tools”.

Of these adware apps, nataļja kokorevičs neon theme keyboard (which is still available on play store at the time of writing) stands out as it has over a million downloads, even with a Terrible 1.8 rating based on 4,000 reviews. Fortunately, it seems that Google Play Protect has started warning users about the app based on Play Store reviews.

joker apps that subscribe users to premium services

dr. Web researchers also found malicious apps on Play Store that infect users’ devices with the infamous Joker malware.

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These applications are particularly dangerous as this strain of malware has the ability to sign victims up for premium subscription services without their knowledge. Unfortunately, two of the malicious apps in dr. the web list (alhassan water reminder, ypc dev and yoga tracker and reminder, for beginners and advanced) are still available for download and have not been removed from the play store yet.

Although both apps actually provide the functionality described in their play store listings, they also perform malicious actions in the background.

image editing apps that steal your facebook account

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hacking your facebook account can be devastating, especially when it comes to a business facebook account, which is why two of the malicious applications discovered by dr. web researchers should be uninstalled immediately.

These two apps (youtoon – cartoon effect ai and hint – cartoon photo effect) are disguised as image editing tools that can apply cartoon filters on normal images and have been downloaded from play store more than 1.5 million times.

both apps have been designed to steal data from your android smartphone which can be used to hack your facebook account.

protect yourself from malicious apps in the play store

To avoid intrusive ads, subscribing to premium services against your will, or having your social media accounts stolen, the first thing you should do is review the list above to make sure none of these malicious apps are installed on your android smartphone or tablet.

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If so, remove them immediately and consider using one of the best android antivirus apps to scan for any viruses that may be left behind.

At the same time, you should also avoid installing apps from unknown sources and instead download them from official stores like Google Play Store, Amazon App Store or Samsung Galaxy App Store.

Even then, bad apps do manage to get past Google’s defenses from time to time, so always check user reviews and ratings, visit developer websites, and read each app’s privacy policy. that install. I know it’s a lot, but it’s worth doing if you want to be sure.

Finally, you should make sure Google Play Protect is active on your devices, as it periodically checks for malicious apps and warns you if you try to install one.

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