Does that tiny Ad pop-up on the screen annoy you? Yes, we are talking about the same pop-up that no matter which app you open follows you like a shadow. Well, that’s an Adware. Tatyana Shishkova, an Android Malware Analyst from Kaspersky discovered a few similar malicious Adware apps on Google’s Play Store.
Adware is a type of malware (malicious software) which displays unwanted advertisements on the user’s device. These ads are generally in the form of a pop-up and at times without a “Close Popup” option. This form of a malware is less serious than others but has a ton of nuisance value to it. Adware implementers can sell your browsing history and behavior to interested clients which they could in turn use to target you with more such ads customized as per your likes and dislikes.
In a similar finding earlier in the week, Tatyana also found three hidden Ad apps on the Play Store which had close to 12,000 installs. Digital adverts are no longer just used to pursue the user to only buy products, but this set of information is also used to earn profits by selling it to interested third-party clients.
Google advises against downloading unknown third-party apps. Do a thorough research before downloading any app. Reading the app information, reviews, ratings and app permissions will certainly help. Turn on the “Scan device for security threats” in Google Play Store’s Play Protect. Additionally, Google also recommends purchasing and downloading an anti-malware app like Malwarebytes to add an added layer of security against such malicious Adware apps.
Earlier last year, a malware developed using the Kotlin programming language was a cause of concern for the Google Play Store. It was found that Kotlin could be used to develop nasty apps, which were difficult to detect. Trend Micro, a cyber-defense and security firm, discovered a malicious app posing as Swift Cleaner for optimizing Android devices. The Kotlin-developed app was capable of information theft and click ad fraud amongst its other noted damages.