Updated August 1st: There is a new report of Android autostart malware infecting millions of devices (opens in a new tab). And we have a list of other apps you want to remove.
A host of other malicious apps filled with adware and malware have managed to bypass Google’s defenses and appear on the Play Store.
To trick unsuspecting users into downloading them, these 36 malicious apps masquerade as image editors, virtual keyboards, system optimizers, wallpaper changers, and other useful tools. .
Although these apps promise to add new functionality for Android smartphonethey actually push intrusive ads, subscribe users to premium services and steal social media accounts instead, according to BleepingComputer (opens in a new tab).
Malicious apps have been discovered by security researchers from anti-virus software Producer Dr. Web, who provided more detailed information about each individual application in one new report (opens in a new tab).
Although Google has removed most of these bad apps from the Play Store, you still need to uninstall them manually if you have any of them on your Android device.
Remove These Android Apps: The Complete List
- Photo Editor: Beauty Filters
- Photo Editor: Edit & Crop
- Photo Editor: Art Filters
- Photo Editor – Design Maker
- Photo Editor & Background Eraser
- Photo Editor & Exif
- Photo Editor – Filter Effects
- Filters & Photo Effects
- Photo Editor: Blur Image
- Photo Editor: Cut, Paste
- Emoji Keyboard: Stickers and GIFs
- Neon Theme Keyboard
- Neon Theme – Android Keyboard
- Cashew nut cleaning machine
- FastCleaner: Cashew Cleaner
- Call interface – Caller theme
- Happy caller
- CallMe phone theme
- InCall: Contact Background
- MyCall – Personalize calls
- Caller Theme
- Caller Theme
- Funny Wallpapers – Live Wallpapers
- 4K Auto Changer Wallpaper
- NewScrean: Wallpaper 4D
- Available Wallpapers & Backgrounds
- Notes – reminders and lists
The adware application keeps running in the background
Aside from being annoying, adware apps can quickly drain your smartphone battery as many of them are designed to keep running in the background even after you close them.
The ones discovered by Dr. Web are actually modifications of existing adware families that first appeared on the Play Store in May of this year.
These adware applications can also run on top of other applications when they request permission to use the overlay window during the installation process. However, they can also continue to run in the background by adding themselves to the battery saver’s exclusion list in Android.
To make matters worse, many of these adware applications also have the ability to hide their application icons in the app drawer or replace them with another icon that resembles a system component. core as “SIM Toolkit”.
Among these adware apps, Neon Theme Keyboard by Nataļja Kokorevičs (still on the Play Store at the time of writing) stands out as it has over a million downloads even with a terrible score of 1 ,8 based on 4,000 reviews. Luckily, it looks like Google Play Protect has started warning users about this app based on reviews from the Play Store.
The Joker app registers users with premium services
Dr. Web’s researchers also found malicious apps on the Play Store that infect users’ devices with Joker malware.
These apps are especially dangerous because this strain of malware is capable of registering victims premium subscription service that they don’t know. Unfortunately, two of the malicious apps on Dr. Web (Water Reminder- Tracker & Reminder by YPC Dev and Yoga- For Beginner to Advanced by ALHASSAN) is still available for download and has not been removed from the Play Store.
While both apps actually provide the functionality described in the Play Store listing, they also perform malicious actions in the background.
Image editing app steals your Facebook account
Yes yours Hacked Facebook account can be devastating, especially when it Facebook Business AccountThat’s why two of the malicious apps developed by Dr. Web detected needs to be uninstalled immediately.
These two apps (YouToon – AI Cartoon Effect and Pista – Cartoon Photo Effect) disguise themselves as image editing tools that can apply cartoon filters on regular images and have been downloaded from the Play Store more than 1.5 million times.
Both apps are designed to steal data from your Android smartphone and can be used to hack into your Facebook account.
Protect yourself from malicious apps on the Play Store
To avoid intrusive ads, subscribing to premium services against your will, or having your social media accounts stolen, the first thing you should do is go through the list above to make sure that there are no apps that you don’t want to use. malicious apps installed on your Android smartphone or tablet.
If so, remove them immediately and consider using one of the best Android antivirus apps to look for any viruses that may be left behind.
At the same time, you should also avoid install apps from unknown sources and instead download them from official stores like Google Play Store, Amazon App Store or Samsung Galaxy App Store.
Even then, bad apps often get past Google’s defenses, which is why you should always check user reviews and ratings, visit the developer’s website and read the privacy policies of any apps you install. I know it’s a lot but it’s worth doing if you want to be safe.
Finally, you should make sure that Google Play Protect is working on your device as it regularly checks for malicious apps and alerts you if you try to install one.