Google has eliminated two malicious Android apps from the Play Store which were seemingly downloaded over 1.5 million times.
After Wandera’s warning research team found the applications were serving up adware, they documented the issue to Google which has taken it off from the Play Store.
The two malicious applications, Sun Pro Beauty Camera, and the Funny Sweet Beauty Selfie Camera had been downloaded 1 million times and over 500,000 times respectively. After assessing the applications, researchers saw there was aa discrepancy in the behavior of the two applications.
For Sun Pro Beauty Camera, it was established that full-screen ads were difficult to shut even if the user restarted the phone.
On the other hand, Funny Sweet Beauty Camera indicated that the full-screen advertisements begin to appear outside of the application only when a filtered photo is downloaded via the application, locally on the device.
Wandera further noted that the functionality of these two applications was similar to the adware apps establish by Trend Micro back in August.
Adware is usually glimpsed as a nuisance for the end-user. However, mobile adware can murder productivity leading to more severe repercussions for businesses.
Meddling out-of-app ads interrupt users in the middle of their work, brick their gadgets, deplete the device battery, and in some scenarios, infected devices need to be rebuilt altogether.
Adware allows authors to earn money from affected gadgets and while it is commonly said as more of a danger than a serious threat, these particular applications have more advanced functionality than your normal adware as reported by Wandera.
Dan Cuddeford who is the director of sales engineering at Wandera said that it is not the first time they have seen bad applications make it onto an official app store. Unfortunately, the vetting accomplished by these official stores is largely directed on user experience.