Android under attack: in the Play Store dozens of self-installing apps

In the Google Play Store there are apps that install malware on the user's smartphone showing dangerous popup ads

More and more we have talked about the flaws in the Google Play Store. Despite the fact that the Mountain View company tries to increase the defenses of its digital store, hackers always manage to win and infect users' smartphones.

The latest complaint comes from SophosLabs researchers who have found 47 malicious applications within the Google Play Store that install viruses in the smartphone that intermittently show misleading advertisements. From the data provided by the cybersecurity experts, in total the apps have collected over six million downloads, and potentially infected users exceed one million. The apps seemingly look harmless, but in reality they hide adware, which are viruses that collect information about the user's browsing and display unsolicited advertisements on the smartphone.

The affected smartphones

According to SophosLabs researchers, the smartphones in danger are all those running Android versions above 2.2 and below 7. In practice, devices running Android Nougat are not in danger. The virus succeeds in tampering with the operation of the smartphone and shows popup ads on the screen that can trick the user. All you have to do is accidentally press on a banner to find a subscription installed on the smartphone. And if the user tries to close the application, the adware continues to run and show unsolicited advertisements.

How to defend yourself 

In this case, recognizing the malicious application before installation is not easy. In fact, the apps are directly present in the Google Play Store and the user thinks that they are safe. But unfortunately, this is not the case. In case you have also fallen into the trap of these apps, the first thing you should do is to uninstall the app, hoping that the virus will stop its operation.