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July 31, 2020 16:40

Google Removed 29 Malicious Android Apps From Play Store

Google Removed 29 Malicious Android Apps From Play Store

Google has been doing a wonderful job by removing malicious apps from its Play Store. Now the tech giant has removed 29 more apps consisting of adware.

A team of security researchers at White Ops’ Satori threat intelligence discovered these 29 apps. The code name for this investigation is “CHARTREUSEBLUR”. The codename contains the word blur because most of the malicious apps were photo editing apps that had a blur feature.

These Android apps were found running out-of-context (OOC) ads which are said to be used to avoid detection. After installing any of these apps, the launch icons would immediately disappear from the app gallery. This made it difficult for users to detect and remove malicious app from their smartphones.

However, these apps would be found inside the Settings menu. You can uninstall it directly from the list of apps located there.

White Ops’ Satori team instructed one of the apps called Square Photo Blur. They tested this app and found a “hollow shell of an app” which managed to pass the Play Store security checks.

Once the app was installed, the launch icon would disappear. There would be no option to open even in the Play Store too. Apart from the random ads, the Square Photo Blur app opens an OOC web browser randomly.

Then the app would show ads throughout the system UI and popping up from any of these apps. It triggers code in the app for ads to pop-up on a smartphone.

These 29 apps include Auto Picture Cut, Auto Photo Blur, Square Photo Blur, Square Blur Photo, Smart Photo Blur, Easy Blur, Image Blur, Photo Blur, Photo Blur Master, Square Blur, Square Blur Master, Smart Blur Photo, Super Call Flash, Magic Call Flash, Super Call Screen, Color Call Flash, Smart Call Flash, Blur Photo Editor, and Blur Image. The rest of the apps are clones of these with the same names.

A lot of these apps listed here have over 5,00,000 downloads on the Play Store. As photo blurring is one of the most demanding trends, these apps got such a huge download.

Recently Google has removed many apps containing Joker malware. Another new Android malware has emerged named BlackRock targeted a whopping 337 Android applications.

After getting the report from White Ops’ Satori team Google has removed these apps from Play Store. Users are advised to uninstall these apps too.

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