Google pulls down 29 malicious Android apps downloaded many times

[ FEB 05, 2019 ]

Google removed 29  apps, some of which had been already downloaded millions of times.

Various Google Play ‘Beauty Camera’ apps send the users pornographic content and redirect them to phishing websites to collect their pictures. These apps are capable of accessing remote ad configuration servers for carrying out attacks.

Large number of the download counts originated from Asia, particularly in India, indicating the demographics of the region more vulnerable to such attacks.

These malicious apps make it difficult for the user to delete them as they create a shortcut to the apps after being launched but hide its icon from the application list. The camera apps use packers that prevent them from being analysed.

One of the most common methods these apps carry out phishing attacks is by pushing several full-screen ads as soon as users unlock their devices. As none of these apps gives any indication of carrying out such ads, it gets difficult for the users to identify and delete them.

Cyber Security Tips:

  • Always to download apps from trusted brands only, even when downloading from the official app store.
  • Look at the app reviews left by other users before downloading any app and avoid those that mention any suspicious behavior or unwanted pop-ups after installing.
  • Always keep a good antivirus app on your Android device that can detect and block such malicious activities before they can infect your device, and keep them up-to-date.


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