Apps appeared on Android that cheated Google Play protection

There are a lot of myths around security Android. Many users sincerely believe that applications in Google Play penetrate without verification, Play Protect antivirus is not able to recognize even adware viruses, let alone something more serious, and the built-in security mechanisms of the operating system work very badly. In fact, of course, this is not the case, because Google has a team of censors, Play Protect really effectively analyzes not only software, but also sites that the user opens, and the permission system effectively prevents malicious programs. It is a pity that even they are imperfect.

Apps appeared on Android that cheated Google Play protection

Google Play defenses are easily bypassed by hackers

Security researchers at White Ops discovered 38 malicious applications on Google Play that reached their victims' devices and continuously displayed ads to them. It would seem, what's the big deal? After all, there are hundreds and thousands of applications aimed at displaying advertising Android. However, the uniqueness of these particular instances lies in the fact that they managed to disable the security mechanisms of Google Play, entering the directory under the guise of benign software, and then Google Play Protect, without allowing it to determine their true nature.

Malicious applications for Android

Apps appeared on Android that cheated Google Play protection

There is malware on Google Play, but Google itself often does not know about it

All of these apps appear to be authored by the same development team. They have consistently published them on Google Play since January 2019, with 21 out of 38 programs appearing in the catalog in the first month. Despite the fact that the software turned off the security mechanisms of the directory, Google still managed to catch part of it and delete it. Therefore, most programs lasted about 17 days on average on Google Play. However, there were also those among them that the search giant could not find for many months, as a result of which the number of their downloads amounted to more than 20 million.

This happened due to the fact that the developers changed the composition of their applications, thereby hiding them from censors. They simply replaced some of the code with Arabic characters to confuse engineers and search algorithms. Surprisingly, it worked. At the same time, in order not to arouse suspicion, it was decided to hide in the most conspicuous place. To do this, developers have built ad scripts into entertainment programs like photo editors, wallpaper search applications and similar husks. The thing is that these are the most popular categories of software that are always in demand among Google Play visitors.

How to remove viruses from your phone

However, it is not so difficult to recognize such applications.

  • Go to 'Settings' – 'Battery' – 'Battery usage';
  • In the window that opens, view the applications that consume the most energy;

Apps appeared on Android that cheated Google Play protection

Finding the apps that use the most energy is easy

  • Then turn off your smartphone and start it in safe mode (how to do this is described at this link);
  • Go to 'Settings' – 'Apps' and remove malicious apps;
  • Reboot your smartphone by starting it normally and use it.

Many people think that adware is harmless, unlike spyware, trojans, and keyloggers, which steal account credentials and bank accounts. But this is not the case. Adware applications include scripts that prevent them from falling asleep in the background and keep the smartphone active even if its screen is off. At this time, applications are non-stop spinning ads that the user is supposedly viewing, and developers receive money for this from ad networks. The danger of such software is that, firstly, energy consumption increases, and secondly, the consumption of Internet traffic increases, and, thirdly, the smartphone often starts to overheat, and its internal components fail.

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