Google Play Store has again been found to host three new apps with adware modules. The applications were discovered in a period of just three months, potentially harming millions of users.
Security researchers at Kaspersky have scanned the store and found the apps attacking users with advertising. The experts also explained that one of these apps is a popular interactive questionnaire that has millions of downloads. According to Kaspersky, the app used a post-installation delay before bombarding the user with ads, which were seen in other adware builds.
The long delay after the installation of the app to the first ad showing up made it more difficult for the user to find the cause behind all the ads suddenly appearing on the screen. This method is usually employed to trick automatic protection systems, such as sandboxes in app stores. The developer of the app has reportedly deleted it as soon as it was contacted.
The other two applications, which were downloaded more than 100 million times, were found to send users half-screen ads after the smartphone was unlocked, irrelevant of whether the app was running or not.
How to Protect Yourself From Adware
Adware is a type of unwanted software that shows ads to users, and it is one of the most utilized non-virus threats. The monetization techniques used in such a build can pose a threat to users, but bring more revenue for developers because of the high number of views. The developer can later adopt new methods that would make the app’s modules harder to detect by both users and cybersecurity systems.
To protect yourself from such threats, remove any app that’s acting odd and displays unwanted ads, and always check an app permissions before installing it in order to see what they can access and do on a device. In addition, use a steady mobile security solution, such as Kaspersky Internet Security for Android, which is able to detect a large variety of threats, including adware.