Aggressive Android-adware on Google Play discovered

Researchers of Romanian anti-virus developer Bitdefender have discovered Android apps on Google Play containing aggressive adware. After the apps are installed they present themselves by a different name, which makes it hard for users to find and delete them.

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Once the apps are active, they show all kinds of warnings that should convince users to subscribe to expensive phone services or to install malicious apps that contain advertisements. A possible reason the apps are able to circumvent Google’s malware detection is that the apps don’t point to malicious APK files. The apps open websites in the browser which redirect from advertising to advertisement.

The apps also redirect users to a special page with location specific advertisements if they search, click on URLs or open Facebook links.

“Aggressive adware has advanced at a dangerous clip in the past couple of years, moving from in-app advertisements and adware SDKs, to browser redirects and covertly running apps at start-up under seemingly legitimate names”, according to analyst Liviu Arsene. Some apps still available in the Google Play store, according to Bitdefender.