In the past few weeks and months, there have been frequent reports that the Google Play Store has been mixed with apps with adware. Some camera and network connection apps have become the hardest-hit areas in this area, and the downloads have reached hundreds of millions. In the face of huge commercial interests, this seems to be the hacker’s target. Even if Google found anomalies and removed malicious apps, these apps have a lot of downloads before removing by Google, and the damage caused has already occurred.
Android Security Monthly Recap #9
Review of harmful apps found on Google Play in September 2019
— Lukas Stefanko (@LukasStefanko) October 1, 2019
In September, security researcher Lukas Stefanko exposed the same incident. Lukas Stefanko found 172 apps with over 335 million installs that include the adware. As you can see, this kind of hidden advertising software has become the number one issue in the app store. Fortunately, most of them have been discovered by Google in time to be cleared out of the Play Store. Of course, this cat-and-mouse game won’t end, and malicious developers will still make a comeback.
According to a Stefanko-collected study, in July alone, the Play Store has 205 suspected applications with 32 million installations. But after only two months, the installed volume has soared to more than 335 million.