Cybersecurity firm discovers 17 Android apps that secretly flood users' phones with pop-up ads even when they're not running 

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  • A new report from cybersecurity firm Bitdefender has identified a rash of adware 
  • The apps fill a person’s phone with pop-up ads and drain its battery
  • The threat comes from 17 apps on the Google Play store
  • Google says they’re aware of the apps and are working to remove them 

A new report from cybersecurity firm Bitdefender has flagged 17 apps on the Google Play store that causes ad pop-ups to appear even when the app is closed

A new report from cybersecurity firm Bitdefender has flagged 17 apps on the Google Play store that causes ad pop-ups to appear even when the app is closed

According to Bitdefender, Google is aware of the 17 exploitive apps and is in the process of having them removed from the store

According to Bitdefender, Google is aware of the 17 exploitive apps and is in the process of having them removed from the store

The apps are designed to function normally for several hours to avoid raising any immediate concerns, then they split themselves into multiple directories and often the app icon will disappear completely, making them almost untraceable

The apps are designed to function normally for several hours to avoid raising any immediate concerns, then they split themselves into multiple directories and often the app icon will disappear completely, making them almost untraceable

The apps will cause a random but persistent string of streaming video ads and pop-ups to appear on a person's phone, gradually draining their battery

The apps will cause a random but persistent string of streaming video ads and pop-ups to appear on a person’s phone, gradually draining their battery

The apps include a wide variety of different functions, inlcluding a period tracker, a car racing game, QR code readers, and more

The apps include a wide variety of different functions, inlcluding a period tracker, a car racing game, QR code readers, and more

Cybersecurity firm Bitdefender has discovered a group of 17 apps on the Google Play store that will randomly run ads on a user’s phone, even when the apps are closed.

These apps include a barcode scanner, a car racing game, a weather app, an ovulation cycle tracker, several 4K wallpaper apps, and a QR code scanner.

Though it appears the apps come from different developers, they have similar effects on a users phone.

After each is downloaded, they’re designed to operate normally for several hours to avoid detection, then they split their core files into multiple directories to further evade malware detection tools.

After this initial period, the apps will begin to download or stream popup advertisements using the phone’s data and draining its battery life.

The apps don’t need to be open for the ad pop-ups to appear, and they’re coded to appear at random times to make it hard for users to anticipate.

Many of the apps are also designed to actually remove their icons from the phone once the ad streaming begins, making it even more challenging to track down the source.

According to Bitdefender’s report, the group of 17 apps have been downloaded more than 550,000 times.

Google has said they’re aware of the apps in question and are in the process of removing them from the Google Play store.

The user reviews for many of the apps are filled with warnings expressing shock that the apps slipped past Google’s malware detection tools.

‘The app is showing full screen ads and that is all. Don’t ever install it. I am writing to complain to Google store,‘ one user writes.

‘This app went invisible from the menu and kept consuming battery, and spamming ads on other apps! Don’t download this one,’ claims another.

‘Horrible intrusive ad popups even when the app is closed. I would give 0 stars if I could,’ another says. 

Car Racing 2019                                                                                                        Developer: Racing 3D Game

4K Wallpaper (Background 4K Full HD)                                                            Developer: Ames Co., Ldt

Backgrounds 4K HD                                                                                                Developer: wixi

QR Code Reader & Barcode Scanner Pro                                                          Developer: Ames Co., Ldt

File Manager Pro – Manager SD Card/Explorer                                           Developer: Ames Co., Ldt

VMOWO City: Speed Racing 3D                                                                         Developer: vmowo

Barcode Scanner                                                                                                       Developer: redads

Screen Stream Mirroring                                                                                       Developer: Amanote

QR Code – Scan & Read a Barcode                                                                    Developer: Mob Net

Period Tracker – Cycle Ovulation Women’s                                                  Developer: Ames Co., Ldt

QR & Barcode Scan Reader                                                                                  Developer: amanozi

Wallpapers 4K, Backgrounds HD                                                                          Developer: amanozi

Transfer Data Smart                                                                                                Developer: Amanote

Explorer File Manager                                                                                            Developer: amanozi

Today Weather Radar                                                                                              Developer: Amanote

Mobnet.io: Big Fish Frenzy                                                                                  Developer: Mob Net

Clock LED                                                                                                                    Developer: Maint



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