Avast Discovers 17 Trojan Apps On Google Play That Can Steal Your Data

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Google Play is reported to have at least 17 Trojan apps said to be a part of the Trojan family called HiddenAds. This was brought to light by cybersecurity company Avast after these apps were reportedly able to steal users personal information.

The researchers discovered that these apps were masked as games but were designed to display intrusive ads. The Trojan apps could also hide their icons from the affected devices and display timed ads that cannot be skipped.

Google Play Services

The team of researchers initially discovered a total of 47 apps belonging to the Trojan family, but Google removed 30 of these apps on receiving this report. The team found that each of the downloaded apps had a separate developer on Google Play with a generic email address. Some of these apps include: Skate Board-New, Find Hidden Differences, Spot Hidden Differences, Tony Shoot-New, and Stacking Guys.

The HiddenAds campaign through these apps were most common in Turkey, Brazil and India, spreading to other regions as well. This is not the first time that such harmful apps have been discovered on Google Play, as Avast detected apps that were installed over 1 million times last year which could stalk users.

The Avast team has advised users to check out permissions of app requests before installing on their devices, and to also go through the privacy policy and terms and conditions of apps prior to installation. Users should also pay extra attention to apps with numerous negative reviews, as this could be a red flag for potentially malicious apps.

 

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