According to Avast, there are more than 50 malicious applications on Google Play, with more than 30 million installations. These programs display ads and can trick users into installing other applications. According to Avast, all malicious applications are connected through a third-party Android library “TsSdk” to bypass the background service restrictions present in newer Android versions.
The researchers found two versions of adware (version A and version B), one version installed more than 3.6 million times. “The apps containing the adware were simple games, fitness, and photo editing apps. Version A was most often installed in India, Indonesia, Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal.”
Another version installs nearly 28 million times. “The adware was included in fitness and music apps. Version B was most often installed in the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil, Nepal, and Great Britain.”
Avast issues some tips to avoid Adware-Ridden Apps:
- Install a trustworthy antivirus app. Antivirus acts as a safety net and can protect you from adware.
- Exercise caution when downloading apps. Read app reviews before installing a new app, carefully reading both positive and negative reviews. Notice if reviewers comment on whether or not the app does what it says it will do. If an app’s review includes comments like “this app doesn’t do what it promises” or “this app is packed with adware,” – think twice about downloading the app! Reviews like this are a sign that something isn’t right.
- Always carefully check app permissions, closely looking to see if they make sense. Granting incorrect permissions can send sensitive data to cybercriminals, including information such as contacts stored on the device, media files and insights into personal chats. If anything seems out of the ordinary or beyond what seems appropriate, the app should not be downloaded.