Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store usually have very useful software to offer to users. But these online stores are not always safe, and being cautious can never be a bad thing. Several pesky apps have been installed over 2.4 million times and claimed to offer only nice and playful features.
Instead of bringing entertainment content and streams, the apps served up ads even when they were not running fully. Thus, the wrongdoers were able to collect revenue from providing the ads to the victims.
$2 to $10 for meaningless in-app purchases
Except for delivering adware, some of the apps were also charging $2 to $10 for meaningless in-app purchases. The method had generated about $500,000 in revenue.
Jakub Vávra, Avast threat analyst, declares:
The apps we discovered are scams and violate both Google’s and Apple’s app policies by either making misleading claims around app functionalities, or serving ads outside of the app and hiding the original app icon soon after the app is installed. It is particularly concerning that the apps are being promoted on social media platforms popular among younger kids, who may not recognize some of the red flags surrounding the apps and therefore may fall for them.
These are the apps that you need to uninstall or avoid:
Google Play Store:
- Ultimate Music Downloader – Free Download Music
- ThemeZone – Shawky App Free – Shock My Friends
- Tap Roulette ++Shock my Friend
- Shock My Friends – Satuna
- shock my friend tap roulette v
- 666 Time
- ThemeZone – Live Wallpapers
In the end, having your smartphone equipped with strong antivirus software isn’t enough. The first and foremost method of staying safe from cyber threats is none other than your own vigilance. Antivirus apps can get outdated and usually require a paid subscription. But your own intelligence and documentation are free-to-use and can always be improved.