Android smartphone owners continue to be placed on high alert about the apps they download onto their devices. So far this year there’s been over 100 applications placed on a banned list and that number seems to grow as each month goes by.
Google, and it’s hugely popular Play Store, is battling an almost constant threat with malware-filled apps attempting to infiltrate its stringent security measures on an almost daily basis. While many of these nasty apps are blocked well before they ever reach the online store, some appear to have slipped through the net and that’s putting Android users at risk.
Some apps on the Play Store have been found to include malware which can hack accounts and there’s regular reports of certain applications filling devices with unstoppable and highly irritating adware.
One of the most recent threats even allowed hackers to sign unsuspecting users up to expensive subscription plans without their consent.
Of course, the moment Google discovers apps that are deemed dangerous it deletes them from its store but by then it could be too late as you may have already downloaded and installed it on your phone.
Express.co.uk has traced the last six months of Android warnings and here’s all of the apps you need to delete from your phone immediately.
One of the first attacks of the year was discovered by the team at Trend Micro who found that some apps claiming to help clean devices could actually perform mobile ad fraud, and download as many as 3,000 malware variants or malicious payloads on affected devices.
One of the apps in question, called Speed Clean, was able to launch innocuous looking adverts on the screen. However, Trend Micro said it was then able to observe malicious behaviour surreptitiously happening on the affected device.
APPS AFFECTED IN THIS ATTACK • 9 – FULL LIST HERE
Next it was the team at BitDefender who found a total of 17 Google Play Store apps, with over 550,000 downloads between them, that were capable of hiding themselves on user devices before plaguing it with intrusive adware.
The cybersecurity firm explained the apps in question appeared to leapfrog the Google Play Store’s screening process with tricky code that makes it “difficult for security researchers to grasp the logic of the app”.
APPS AFFECTED IN THIS ATTACK • 17 – FULL LIST HERE
In February, those using VPNs were warned that some Play Store apps could be riddled with nasty malware and other worrying issues.
The team at VPNpro say they’ve found numerous Android applications with some even seeking dangerous permissions.
One app was even discovered to be getting access to the camera and another collecting data from the phone and sending it to servers in China.
APPS AFFECTED IN THIS ATTACK • 25 – FULL LIST HERE
A major concern for Android users was found last month with an app downloaded 40 million times found to feature a nasty surprise.
Known as SnapTube, the Android app sells itself as an easy way to download videos from YouTube and Facebook.
SnapTube is free to download. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t costing you.
According to a new report from UpStreamSystems, users with SnapTube installed on their smartphone could find themselves paying dearly. That’s because the simple download app quietly signs up users for premium services without their knowledge.
APPS AFFECTED IN THIS ATTACK • 1
Facebook users were targeted in a nasty attack earlier this month. As reported by ZDNet, the new attack was incredibly serious as was able to target users of Facebook with personal details and credentials stolen by hackers from social network accounts.
The shocking malware was discovered by French cyber-security firm Evina who has confirmed that the apps were able to infiltrate devices by offering genuine functionality.
However, once installed the hidden code embedded within the app then sets about stealing personal data via some nasty tactics. With the malicious code automatically activated it then lies in wait until the Android phone user launches Facebook.
APPS AFFECTED IN THIS ATTACK • 25 – FULL LIST HERE
Last month there was a big campaign to remove irritating adware from the Play Store.
The threat was found by the security team at Avast who discovered a total of 47 apps which could leave Android users with a phone that is constantly being bombarded with unwanted and highly annoying adverts.
This Adware threat is a common way for cyber crooks to make money out of unsuspecting users but it can leave devices almost unusable once targeted.
APPS AFFECTED IN THIS ATTACK • 47 – FULL LIST HERE
The very latest Android threat is possibly one of the most worrying as it could leave phone owners seriously out of pocket.
The latest 11 apps to be blocked from Google’s online store were found to be signing unsuspecting users up to premium-rate services without their permission.
The team at Checkpoint made the discovery with all of the apps featuring a new version of a malware named Joker – this is a well-known billing fraud bug that has been wreaking havoc for a number of years.
This nasty malware was first tracked in 2017 and is particularly dangerous as it includes both spyware and premium dialers that can access notifications and even read or send SMS texts. Once a device is infected, these capabilities are used by cyber crooks to invisibly subscribe victims to costly premium-rate services.
This could leave users with huge bills to pay for services they never wanted or actually used.
APPS AFFECTED IN THIS ATTACK • 11 – FULL LIST HERE