29 Dangerous apps to delete immediately from your smartphone: the list

White Ops researchers have discovered 29 very dangerous apps that hide adware showing misleading advertisements. How to defend yourself

The start of the week is uphill for all Android users: computer researchers from White Ops, who have already made headlines in previous weeks, have uncovered 29 new apps that hide a virus inside. These apps are quite popular and used for photo editing and blurring parts of images. In total, they've had more than 3.5 million downloads worldwide.

The malware inside the apps are "harmless", because they don't seek out sensitive information or try to steal online bank account details. They are adware, a particular family of viruses whose sole purpose is to show repeated advertisements on the user's screen. The goal is to get as many clicks as possible so as to make money on every single tap the user makes on the advertisement, even inadvertently. If adware is not dangerous for the user's privacy, the same cannot be said for the health of the smartphone: it can heat up the battery and ruin the internal components. In the research published online, White Ops also reported the name or code of the malicious app. Here's what they are.

The apps that hide a dangerous virus: how to recognize them

The research work carried out by the guys at White Ops was painstaking and started from some excessively high volumes of advertising traffic recorded by a group of apps that are very similar to each other. After analyzing the code of these apps, the researchers found a virus from the adware family inside them. These are viruses designed for this kind of activity: after installing an infected app, advertisements start appearing on the user's smartphone, without being able to block them.

The goal of the hackers is to accumulate as many clicks on the ads as possible in order to earn money. The behavior of the 29 apps discovered by the White Ops researchers had another peculiarity. After installation, the icon disappeared from the app's drawer so that the user couldn't find and uninstall them. To find out which apps were dangerous, you had to go into the settings and search for the latest one.

What are the 29 dangerous apps you should delete right away from your Android smartphone

White Ops researchers discovered that the 29 dangerous apps are all very similar to each other and offer an almost identical service: image editing and blurring. Non è un caso che nel nome della app ci sia quasi sempre la parola “Blur", che in italiano vuol dire proprio “sfocatura".  I ricercatori sono riusciti a trovare il nome di 19 app, mentre delle altre 10 è disponibile il nome in codice. Ecco la lista:

  • Auto Picture Cut
  • Color Call Flash
  • Square Photo BLur
  • Square Blur Photo
  • Magic Call Flash
  • Easy Blur
  • Image Blur
  • Auto Photo Blur
  • Photo Blur
  • Photo Blur Master
  • Super Call Screen
  • Square Blur Master
  • Square Blur
  • Smart Blur Photo
  • Smart Photo Blur
  • Super Call Flash
  • Smart Call Flash
  • Blur Photo Editor
  • Blur Image.

To find out the complete list you can consult this webpage.

29 dangerous apps, the dangers for users

As with all cases where adware is the protagonist, the dangers for users are not so much about their personal data as about the health of the smartphone. In fact, infected apps always stay active in the background to show misleading advertisements and quickly consume the smartphone's battery. But that's not all.

How to defend yourself against 29 dangerous apps

The problem is always the same: Google Play Store's defenses are not able to block infected apps. Despite the artificial intelligence and the use of Google Play Protect, every week we're here to tell you about dangerous apps that you need to delete immediately from your smartphone. And this is the only really reliable remedy to defeat adware: delete the app when you find out it is infected. Alternatively, you can try installing some antivirus software, but they don't always manage to find adware hidden in infected apps.