A recent discovery by the Czech antivirus maker Avast reported a set of 21 android apps infected with malware in Google Playstore. The report states that these apps have been downloaded approximately eight million times. According to the report, security firm claims that these malware apps have adware, called ‘HiddenAds’ which disguises itself in popular fun and useful applications whose actual function is to serve up intrusive ads outside the app.
First discovered in 2019, this malware can hide the app icon that makes it difficult for the user to uninstall them hiding behind the relevant looking advertisements, this makes them hard to identify. Reacting to this report, Google has removed most of these apps from Playstore to prevent the user from installing these apps, and for those who have already installed them, it is advised that you uninstall them right away.
List Of Apps Found With Malware & To Uninstall
If you are still not aware of the names of the malware apps, here is a list of the affected apps that have been removed from the Google Play Store. Make sure to uninstall them the moment you see this.
- Rolling Scroll
- Shoot Them
- Crush Car
- Helicopter Shoot
- Helicopter Attack – New
- Assasin Legend – 2020 New
- Flying Skateboard
- Rugby Pass
- Find Hidden
- Plant Monster
- Iron it
- Shooting Run
- Props Rescue
- Cream Trip – New
- Dessert Against
- Jump Jump
- Rotate Shape
- Sway Man
According to Avast malware analyst, Jakub Vavra stated that developers of adware have increasingly used social media channels as any regular marketer would have. These apps mimic popular games and the ones behind them have relied heavily on social media ads and marketing to draw and attract users to their Play Store pages.
He also said that even with Google doing everything it can to prevent the HiddenAds from entering Play Store, these malicious apps consistently keep finding new methods of disguising themselves and their true purpose hence slipping through to the platform and finally to the users’ phone. Keeping this in mind, users need to be extra vigilant when downloading applications on their phones. They should make sure to check the applications’ profile, reviews, and always be mindful of extensive device permission requests.
Steps To Uninstall Hidden Apps
If your phone has one of these apps but you cannot find it in the app drawer and are unable to uninstall it. Following the steps given below will help you uninstall these apps from your phone.
- The first step in uninstalling these hidden apps from your phone is to go to the phone’s Settings menu and then select the Apps and search for the app.
- Once you get the search result, select the app, and tap on the Uninstall option provided on the screen.
- After you select the uninstall button the app will be permanently removed from your phone.
This list of 21 malware apps discovered by Avast is just a small number joining the ever-growing list of malicious apps that has been removed by Google from Play Store over the past years. There have also been reports of apps with Joker malware that could steal your money, contact lists, SMSes, and your device information. So, every user needs to be specifically careful of what they install on their phone.