Android Apps Have Been Concealing Adware

  • Wednesday, February 4th, 2015
  • Author: Tim Maytom
  • Share this article:

avast logoAndroid has blocked access to several popular apps from the official Google Play store after it was discovered they contained code that made malicious ads pop up on users mobile phones.

Security firm Avast, who made the discovery, claim that one of the apps, a free version of the card game Durak, had been downloaded between 5m and 10m times, and noted that many of the apps would wait until a device was rebooted to begin triggering ads.

By delaying the ad deployment, it meant many users were unable to track which app was causing the abnormal behaviour. The malware causes ads to present each time the infected device was unlocked, claiming that the smartphone is infected or out of date and directing users to click through links to download often dubious apps.

In addition to the Durak game, other apps containing the malicious code include a Russian language IQ app that Google Play indicates has been downloaded up to 5m times, and a Russian history app, which had been downloaded around 50,000 times.

“This didnt seem like anything spectacular at the beginning, but once I took a closer look it turned out that this malware was a bit bigger than I initially thought,” said Filip Chytry, mobile malware analyst and operator at Avast. “Most people wont be able to find the source of the problem and will face fake ads each time they unlock their device.

“I believe that most people will trust that there is a problem that can be solved with one of the apps advertised solutions and will follow the recommended steps, which may lead to an investment into unwanted apps from untrusted sources.”