With more than 2.5 billion active users, Android has a lion's share of more than 75-percent of the mobile OS platform. Unfortunately, it also attracts cybercriminals to prey on naive Android phone users.
Last month, Google announced a collaboration with top mobile security firms ESET, Lookout, and Zimperium to form App Defense Alliance. It vowed to fight the malware-laced apps entering the Play store, but it looks like the effort is still a work in progress, as more than 100 bad apps with adware have detected.
And as per the estimation is done by the White Ops Threat Intelligence team, adware-laced apps have been installed in more than 4.6 million phones around the world.
The apps are said to be equipped with a malicious “Soraka” package that pushes annoying ads on the mobile screens and ruins the Android interface experience.
For instance, Best Fortune Explorer, a free app on Play store says ads will be shown while using the app, but as per White Ops experts, it shows fraudulent advertisements and also uses an algorithm to avoid detection, so that users can't delete it from the phone. It is an illegal act by the app developer Javier Gentry80 (as displayed on Play store). This is one 116 bad apps detected by White Ops team.
As per the latest reports, most of the ad-ware laced apps are still present on the Play store. Users are advised to be wary of utility and gaming apps, especially the free ones from unknown developers.
White Ops has listed all the166 bad apps found on the Google Play store. Android phone users can check them on the security website (here) and if you have any of them, uninstall them immediately.
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 offers 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.