Google drops 27 malicious gaming apps from Play store

Last Updated : 21 August 2019, 06:47 IST

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Cyber researchers at Quick Heal Security Lab have detected 27 adware-riddled gaming apps that used to hoodwink Android mobile phone users and flood the screen with full-screen ads at random times.

All the malicious apps are published by the same developer with the name “AFAD Drift Racer” and belong to free Car Racing Games category, the Quick Heal internet security expert said.

Modus operandi of these malware gaming apps:

Once the Android user installs it, the app then prompts the user to install a fake Google Play store app for a better experience.

If the user again falls prey to the tactic, it will stay dormant for some time and secretly separates itself from the parent app and turns in to a standalone app.

Even if the user gets frustrated with the primary gaming app and uninstalls it, the fake Google Play store app continues to remain in the phone undetected.

After some time, it will start flooding the phone's screen with full-page ads and the user will have a tough time figuring out on how to stop it.

What's more worrying is that the app's logo looks strikingly similar to the original Google Play and only a keen eye can make out the difference between the two.

After receiving a note from the Quick Heal Security Labs, Google has deleted all the 27 apps from the Play store.

But, if the users who have already downloaded the app, they can detect it and uninstall the app. Go to Setting-> Apps & notifications OR Settings -> App Manager. As you can see in the image below, the Google Play is an integral part of an Android mobile OS and it cannot be installed, but a fake app can be disabled and uninstalled permanently.

How to detect a fake Google Play store app (Picture credit: Quick Heal Security Lab)
How to detect a fake Google Play store app (Picture credit: Quick Heal Security Lab)

Here's How to safeguard your mobile phone from adware and other malicious threats:
1) Whether you have an Android mobile or iOS-based iPhone, always stay updated with the latest software. Both Google and Apple send regularly send firmware — especially security patches monthly or on a priority basis, whenever they detect threats. So, make sure you install the latest software.
2) Another good practice is to install a premium Antivirus software on mobile, which offer 24x7 protection. They are equipped to detect threats quickly whenever you unknowingly visit a shady website
3) Never ever open emails or SMS and click URL links sent from unknown senders
4) Also, never install apps from unfamiliar publishers.
5) Always download apps from Google Play or Apple App store only. Never install from any third-party app store.

Get the latest news on new launches, gadget reviews, apps and more on personal technology only on DH Tech.

Published 21 August 2019, 06:46 IST

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