A team at Avast has uncovered another set of malicious apps in the Google Play Store.
Adware, or advertising-supported software, is software that displays unwanted advertising on your computer device. In many cases, ads may be within the software itself. Alternatively, the adware may encourage you to install additional software provided by third-party sponsors.
The HiddenAds family is a Trojan disguised as a safe and useful application but instead serves intrusive ads outside of the app. These campaigns are repurposing existing gaming applications and add aggressive HiddenAds features to be displayed for users.
According to the senior author at Avast, 21 gaming adverts uncovered on Google packed with adware from the HiddenAds family members were being downloaded about 8 million occasions so considerably, according to new exploration Avast, which cited statistics from SensorTower on the range of downloads.
Developers of adware are increasingly using social media channels, like regular marketers would,” Jakub Vávra, Threat Analyst at Avast, says. “This time, users reported they were targeted with ads promoting the games on YouTube. In September, we saw adware spread via TikTok. The popularity of these social networks make them an attractive advertising platform, also for cybercriminals, to target a younger audience,”
The HiddenAds malware disguises itself like fun or useful application — in this instance, games that promise to virtually:
- let your car fly across the road, trees, hills,
- to shoot criminals from a helicopter,
- or virtually iron their clothes —
but actually exist to serve up intrusive ads outside the app. They also frequently hide their icons, so they can’t be deleted, and hide behind relevant-looking advertisements, making them hard to identify.
“While Google is doing everything possible to prevent HiddenAds from entering its Play Store, the malicious apps keep finding new ways to disguise their true purpose, thus slipping through to the platform and then to users’ phones,” Vávra says.
With the last round of HiddenAd apps, the Avast team “noticed the app developers have more apps, with very low downloads and reviews, but the handful of reviews they have are extremely positive and enthusiastic, which can also be a sign that something is suspicious,” Vávra says.
- Permissions – Take a minute to think about whether or not it really needs that access ( including access to your camera, files, location, etc). Does a weather app need to access your microphone? Nope. Does a wallpaper app need to access your storage? Nope. That’s a sign the app is likely a scam.
- Downloading Applications – Educate yourself on the signs of scam apps and then share that info with your kids, that they get permission before downloading.
Below are the list of HiddenAd applications:
- Shoot Them
- Crush Car
- Rolling Scroll
- Helicopter Attack – NEW
- Assassin Legend – 2020 NEW
- Helicopter Shoot
- Rugby Pass
- Flying Skateboard
- Iron it
- Shooting Run
- Plant Monster
- Find Hidden
- Find 5 Differences – 2020 NEW
- Rotate Shape
- Jump Jump
- Find the Differences – Puzzle Game
- Sway Man
- Money Destroyer
- Desert Against
- Cream Trip – NEW
- Props Rescue