Google Play Store is one of the safest places to get apps on the Internet. However, recently, there have been a number of unsafe apps that have come up on the Store. Recently, Security research firm eZanga found more than 300 malicious apps in the Google Play Store, which have been racking up fraudulent ad clicks. These malicious apps are estimated to have cost advertisers around $6.5 billion so far. These apps seem to be created and submitted to the Play Store by bots. There are apps like Tuneatpea Personalization, Attunable and Classywall. Generally, these apps are free to download, and the download count for them range from the low thousands to the hundreds of thousands.
These malicious apps may not do anything usually associated with malware, such as crashing a device or collecting user information. However, the fact that they use clandestine methods to achieve their goals surely means that they could try something more interesting, and probably succeed. These apps generate hundreds or even thousands of requests per active device per hour. This is quite lucrative, even on slow days, if a malware developer can get away with it for long enough with Google discovering it.
There are other negative side effects of these malicious apps. For one thing, these apps increase a device’s RAM consumption and CPU load, and decrease battery life. This could lead to permanent damage on the device in the long run. Furthermore, these apps could drain users’ mobile data. now, Google Play Store is still a much safer place to download apps than some other sites. However, Google is becoming less able to protect its users from these apps. Therefore, it pays to be vigilant. Beware of free apps that seem too generic, and never grant apps more permission than you would think they need to perform their primary function without sufficient explanation from the developer. Also, you could run apps through a malware checker, just to be safe.
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