Google removed several Android applications from Play Store when they were found to serve intrusive ads.
The Czech cybersecurity firm Avast said that the 21 malicious apps were downloaded almost eight million times from the Play Store.
The malicious apps were disguised as harmless gaming apps and came along with HiddenAds malware which is a Trojan known for its capabilities to serve intrusive ads outside of the app.
The operators behind the malicious apps depended on social media channels to lure users into downloading the apps.
Once the app is installed, they hide their icons to prevent detection and also hide behind relevant-looking advertisements which makes it difficult to identify.
The apps also have the ability to draw over other apps to show timed ads which cannot be skipped, and sometimes it can even open the browser to strike users with ads.
These apps could be uninstalled from the app settings but the user has to do it by searching for the exact app that shows the ads and remove them.
Google is trying to prevent malicious Android apps from infiltrating the Google Play Store. The Google Play Protect acts as a means to screen harmful applications and an App Defense Alliance was built by Google last year in partnership with cybersecurity firms ESET, Lookout, and Zimperium to reduce the risk of app-based malware.
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