Globally preferred search engine, Google, has allegedly removed approximately thirty apps from its Play Store.
According to reports, Google has removed multiple android apps from its Play Store on the pretext that they were allegedly ‘dodgy’. Tech experts and security researchers suggest that people who have already downloaded the apps should delete them with priority to safeguard themselves against the ‘malicious applications’.
According to reports, Google recently learnt that the newly removed apps functioned on a software that could forward ‘unwarranted adverts and intrusive browser redirects’ to users without them having clicked any links. Moreover, the discovery was made by WhiteOps who expressed concerns that the developers of these apps were allegedly linked to a criminal group. They elaborated that the dodgy software was initially uploaded to primarily target the beauty and selfie market via Google’s Play Store in January of 2019.
It was further reported that although Google’s protection service had deleted most of the suspicious apps weeks into their initial uploads in lieu of their malicious nature, most such applications lasted for approximately seventeen days before they were eventually deleted. In addition to this, they still managed to amass almost 0.5 million [or 5 lakh] downloads which made the cyber attacks extremely serious. However, the criminal groups allegedly managed to bypass Google’s security by either deleting or hiding the malicious code(s), which meant that they could re-enable the suspicious app at any point.
According to reports of the Express, Google has permanently removed thirty-eight apps from its Play Store although they had reportedly been downloaded almost 20 million times by the smartphone user. Moreover, WhiteOps elaborated on their website that that White Ops Satori Threat Intelligence and Research Team has managed to identify and track a ‘fraud operation that rendered fraudulent advertising in users’ devices’. They clarified that the apps had been downloaded up to 20 million times.
They further added that apart from their fraudulent nature, these apps primarily targeted beauty as they purported to be selfie apps providing an array of beauty filters for users’ pictures while also showing unnecessary ads which made it nearly impossible to remove the apps, once downloaded. The apps which have reportedly been banned on Play Store include the following as confirmed by WhiteOps:
- Yoroko Camera – INSTALLS 100,000
- Solu Camera – INSTALLS 500,000
- Lite Beauty Camera – INSTALLS 1 million
- Beauty Collage Lite – INSTALLS 500,000
- Beauty & Filters Camera – INSTALLS 1 million
- Photo Collage & Beauty Camera – INSTALLS 100,0000
- Beauty Camera Selfie Filter – INSTALLS 10,000
- Gaty Beauty Camera – INSTALLS 500,000
- Pand Selife Beauty Camera – INSTALLS 50,000
- Catoon Photo Editor & Selfie Beauty Camera – INSTALLS 1 million
- Benbu Selife Beauty Camera – INSTALLS 1 million
- Pinut Selife Beauty Camera & Photo Editor – INSTALLS 1 million
- Mood Photo Editor & Selife Beauty Camera – INSTALLS 500,000
- Rose Photo Editor & Selfie Beauty Camera – INSTALLS 1 million
- Selife Beauty Camera & Photo Editor – INSTALLS 100,000
- Fog Selife Beauty Camera – INSTALLS 100,000
- First Selife Beauty Camera & Photo Editor – INSTALLS 5000,000
- Vanu Selife Beauty Camera – INSTALLS 100,000
- Sun Pro Beauty Cameraa – INSTALLS 1 million
- Funny Sweet Beauty Camera – INSTALLS 500,000
- Little Bee Beauty Camera – INSTALLS 1 million
- Beauty Camera & Photo Editor Pro – INSTALLS 1 million
- Grass Beauty Camera – INSTALLS 1 million
- Ele Beauty Camera – INSTALLS 1 million
- Flower Beauty Camera – INSTALLS 100,000
- Best Selfie Beauty Camera – INSTALLS 1 million
- Orange Camera – INSTALLS 500,000
- Sunny Beauty Camera – INSTALLS 1 million
- Pro Selfie Beauty Camera – INSTALLS 500,000
- Selfie Beauty Camera Pro – INSTALLS 1 million
- Elegant Beauty Cam-2019 – INSTALLS 50,000
According to reports, security researchers suggest that before downloading any apps in the future, users should first check if the developer is a reputable one. They caution that reading reviews posted by other users can help to identify if the app should be ignored. They added that apps that often show low scores and complaints by user most probably suggest that it might be ‘dodgy’.
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