The Android apps you should delete from your phone now

Google has removed dozens of popular apps from its Play Store and Android users are being advised to delete them from their phones.

It’s claimed the software had the ability to bombard users with unwanted adverts and intrusive browser redirects, which would take Android fans to websites without them clicking on a link, reports the Express.

The discovery was made by the team at WhiteOps, which believes a criminal group were behind the threat. The software, designed to mainly target the beauty and selfie market, was uploaded to the Play Store back in January 2019.

Google’s protection service deleted most of the apps within a few weeks due to their malicious nature, with some of them lasting just 17 days before they were blocked. However, they were downloaded 500,000 times during this period.

In September 2019, the people behind the apps changed tactics. New threats were made possible by either hiding the malicious code or deleting it completely – which meant they were able to bypass Google’s security.

The adware could then be re-enabled via a simple update which is why Google has now removed all of the apps from its marketplace despite many of them appearing to be clean.

A total of 38 applications have now been deleted from the Play Store but during their life on the online store, they have been downloaded a total of 20 million times.

In a post on its website, WhiteOps explained: “The White Ops Satori Threat Intelligence and Research Team recently identified and tracked a fraud operation that rendered fraudulent advertising in users’ devices. These apps amassed more than 20 million downloads.

“What these apps all have in common – besides their fraudulent tactics – is their focus on beauty. Most purport to be selfie apps that add beauty filters to users’ pictures, while at the same time showing ads out of context and making it nearly impossible to remove the apps themselves.”

Google continues to improve its app security but users are advised to take precautions before downloading anything on to their phones.

Firstly, check the developer is reputable and is trustworthy. Then read the reviews as this is where you’ll often spot if other users have noticed problems. Lots of low scores and complaints probably mean it’s best to keep clear.

All of the removed apps – published by WhiteOps – are listed below. If you have them installed on your device it’s a good idea to delete them as soon as possible.

• Yoroko Camera – 100,000 installs

• Solu Camera – 500,000 installs

• Lite Beauty Camera – 1 million installs

• Beauty Collage Lite – 500,000 installs

• Beauty & Filters Camera – 1 million installs

• Photo Collage & Beauty Camera – 100,000 installs

• Beauty Camera Selfie Filter – 10,000 installs

• Gaty Beauty Camera – 500,000 installs

• Pand Selife Beauty Camera (sic) – 50,000 installs

• Catoon Photo Editor & Selfie Beauty Camera (sic) – 1 million installs

• Benbu Selife Beauty Camera (sic) – 1 million installs

• Pinut Selife Beauty Camera & Photo Editor (sic) – 1 million installs

• Mood Photo Editor & Selife Beauty Camera (sic) – 500,000 installs

• Rose Photo Editor & Selfie Beauty Camera – 1 million installs

• Selife Beauty Camera & Photo Editor (sic) – 100,000 installs

• Fog Selife Beauty Camera (sic) – 100,000 installs

• First Selife Beauty Camera & Photo Editor (sic) – 500,000 installs

• Vanu Selife Beauty Camera (sic) – 100,000 installs

• Sun Pro Beauty Cameraa (sic) – 1 million installs

• Funny Sweet Beauty Camera – 500,000 installs

• Little Bee Beauty Camera – 1 million installs

• Beauty Camera & Photo Editor Pro – 1 million installs

• Grass Beauty Camera – 1 million installs

• Ele Beauty Camera – 1 million installs

• Flower Beauty Camera – 100,000 installs

• Best Selfie Beauty Camera – 1 million installs

• Orange Camera – 500,000 installs

• Sunny Beauty Camera – 1 million installs

• Pro Selfie Beauty Camera – 500,000 installs

• Selfie Beauty Camera Pro – 1 million installs

• Elegant Beauty Cam-2019 – 50,000 installs


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