They discover 42 malicious apps on Google Play that affected 8 million people


A Latin American investigation managed to disrupt a network of applications that introduced advertising content on mobile phones without the consent of its users. The applications were posing as Google services to avoid being detected and affected millions of Android users worldwide.

The investigation was carried out by the Latin American headquarters of the international IT security company ESET, whose specialists managed to determine the existence of an adware campaign, as it is known to computer programs dedicated to reproduce advertising content on the device without the consent of its owner.
According to the researchers, the applications reached 8 million users.
The analysis determined that there were a total of 42 applications dedicated to this, disguised as video games or tools to listen to radios or download videos, among other supposed features.

As explained by the company, once installed and with access to the device, the applications began to show ads on full screen, making it difficult to remove them.

One of the peculiarities of the applications is that, when trying to determine the person responsible for the application, the researchers found that they were trying to impersonate Google or Facebook services.

According to Luckas Stefanko, an ESET researcher, this tactic sought to prevent users from suspecting the software's bad intentions.

However, the analysts managed to identify the creator of the applications from 'fingerprints' that the person responsible for the programs could not remove.

After denouncing the existence of the 42 applications, Google’s security team removed them from its market, Stefanko said. However, many may still be available in other stores.

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