Google has finally pulled out several apps with malware from the Google Play Store. Users are highly recommended to uninstall the following apps immediately.
There are a million apps in the Google Play Store. It is likely that there are apps with malware hidden among them. The good thing is there are third-party companies that watch out for these kinds of apps.
Cybersecurity firm detects several apps with malware
Evina, a cybersecurity company, recently posted on Facebook a list of unsecured apps. 25 of these apps were detected to have malware rooted into the files.
Google took action quickly and removed it from the Google Play Store.
However, those who have installed the apps beforehand should be aware of the risk and delete it soon.
Despite being out of the Google Play Store, some of these apps are still downloadable through third party websites.
Complete list of apps
Here are the apps with malware included in the recent cybersecurity check. It ranges from games, file managers, wallpaper apps, and many more.
- Super Wallpapers Flashlight – 500,000 downloads
- Padenatef – 500,000 downloads
- Wallpaper Level – 100,000 downloads
- Contour Level Wallpaper – 100,000 downloads
- iPlayer and iWallpaper – 100,000 downloads
- Video Maker – 100,000 downloads
- Color Wallpapers – 100,000 downloads
- Pedometer – 100,000 downloads
- Powerful Flashlight – 100,000 downloads
- Super Bright Flashlight – 100,000 downloads
- Solitaire Game – 100,000 downloads
- Accurate Scanning of QR Code – 50,000 downloads
- Classic Card Game – 50,000 downloads
- Junk File Cleaning – 50,000 downloads
- Synthetic Z – 50,000 downloads
- File Manager – 50,000 downloads
- Composite Z – 50,000 downloads
- Screenshot Capture – 10,000 downloads
- Daily Horoscope Wallpapers – 10,000 downloads
- Wuxia Reader – 10,000 downloads
- Plus Weather – 10,000 downloads
- Anime Live Wallpaper – 100 downloads
- iHealth Step Counter – no data available
- Panda Bookhouse – no data available
How does malware work?
The malware embedded in these apps works whenever the user launches an app owned by Facebook. These include Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus VR.
Once open, the malware pops up a fake Facebook login page. Users are then unaware that they are entering their login information to an unsecured site. The malware’s server will receive the gathered data.
Tech-savvy users will not fall for this trap. However, this method will easily fool the elderly and first-time users.
All 25 apps are made by Chinese developers
The apps discovered by Evina were all made by Chinese developers. The developers include Xincheng, Wuxia, Chuangtai, and Tiantian.
This is concerning as the number of suspicious Chinese apps are on the rise.
It is not the first time that Chinese apps were probed. Last year, Tech in Asia reported that these apps are collecting too much data. It includes the subsidiary apps of Taobao.
On a related note, India has banned TikTok and other Chinese apps due to concerns for the country’s security and privacy.
How can users avoid unwanted data collection?
There are several ways to avoid suspicious apps. One way is checking who the developer of an app is. It might take a while to inspect their reputation. But, it is better than handing out private information.
Another way is to avoid installing apps through third-party websites. Sideloading apps is one feature of Android. However, it is also a way for suspicious developers to get inside someone’s device.
It also not bad to check out tech news on apps that may potentially cause harm. TikTok, for example, has been viral recently. But, it is recently bombarded with data privacy issues.
Users may also double-check app permissions with Android 10. The software version lets users disable app permissions on the background. These apps may only access data while in use.
Taking the steps mentioned above is not a surefire way to eliminate malware.
Despite all these measures, the internet has apps with malware scattered. Users should exert the utmost care whenever installing an app.