Bitdefender researchers found that there were 17 applications on the Google Play Store that “bombarded” the user with advertisements, which quickly drained the battery of your smartphone or tablet. The applications fall within the scope of Adware and used strategies commonly associated with malware to infiltrate the giant Mountain View platform.
According to the investigation, applications with more than 550,000 installations altogether managed to escape the scrutiny of Google's selection criteria by delivering on the features they promised. Among them were auto racing video games as well as various utilities. After the discovery, Bitdefender notified the Alphabet company that has already removed them.
Click on the gallery to discover the applications discovered by Bitdefender
The applications used various tactics to circumvent Google’s security mechanisms and ensure their presence on the Play Store. According to Bitdefender analysts, the most common strategies included waiting up to four hours after installation to start “bombarding” the user with ads, “hiding” their presence on the device after 48 hours, or even sharing the app code by different folders or files. Although they had a similar mode of operation, the names of their creators were varied.
Security experts also indicate the applications found on the Play Store could even try to access information about the user present on the devices. Bitdefender indicates that while applications have already been removed from Google's platform, they may still exist on the devices of the most unwary users. Therefore, the researchers recommend uninstalling it.