205 Harmful Apps On Google Play Store Had Over 32 Million Downloads In July

Chitanis - Oct 04, 2019


205 Harmful Apps On Google Play Store Had Over 32 Million Downloads In July

Google was found to have 205 harmful apps on its Play Store. And these apps were downloaded over 32 million times in that same month.

Google may have numerous apps on its Play Store to entertain Android users, however, many of which can be secretly harmful for users.

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Google Play Store is reported to have 205 harmful apps.

Lukas Stefanko - Malware Researcher from ESET found that in July 2019, the Play Store housed 205 dangerous apps. More important, these harmful applications were downloaded more than 32 million times by Android users in July.

As reported in the finding, most of these malicious apps were linked to hidden advertisements which took up 19.2 million installs. Other harmful apps found in July also include scams which are related to adware, fake apps and anti-virus apps, stalkerware, subscription as well as backdoor-embedded apps.

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Some anti-virus apps are fake so they are bad at malware detection

What’s interesting is that there were only 3 subscription apps that caused trouble, however, in fact, they were installed about 12 million times in total, which accounted for one-third of all listed downloads.

According to Lukas Stefanko, the apps having hidden-ads actually show advertisements to users. The ads take up all of the screens and do not have any other functionality.

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The harmful apps had over 32 million installs.

Reports, research, and tweets that the infosec community published within July helped the researcher – Lukas Stefanko detect these malicious apps.

This isn't the first example that indicates Google Play Store's lack of both privacy and security. Google recently deleted seven stalkerware apps that Avast – an anti-virus company revealed. These apps could gain access to the victim’s contacts, call history and text messages and also track their location, disguising as tools for employees and kids monitoring.

7-stalkerware-apps-removed-by-Google
7 stalkerware apps removed by Google.

There is also another report proving the negligence of Google on its Play Store which was disclosed by Symantec. As reported, there were in total more than 150 Fake Jio applications on Google Play Store which promise Android users to have free data but end up showing advertisements instead.

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