Bitdefender revealed more than a dozen Google Play apps bombard users with annoying ads. According to the company, 17 apps used different strategies to deliver irritating ads. Still, they appear to be legitimate apps.
Among the ads, which have more than half a million downloads combined, there was a racing simulator, some QR code scanners and a weather app. Although these are not malicious “The tactics they use to smuggle themselves into Google Play and doge Google’s vetting system are traditionally associated with malware,” Bitdefender explained. The apps managed to trick Google’s verifying system as they do what they say to do.
Bitdefender announced it had notified the giant company of the aggressive apps. So, Google would be in the process of removing them from the store. In order to avoid Google Play checks, these apps hide on a user’s phone. Also, they usually hold off from displaying ads for a few hours after their installation.
Users became very annoyed
So, some users who have already downloaded the apps submitted reports on Google Play store and warned the others to not install the apps. “The app is showing full screen ads and that is all. Don’t ever install it,” one user wrote. Another one mentioned: “Horrible intrusive ad popups even when the app is closed. I would give 0 stars if I could.”
According to Bitdefender, one of the consequences of these aggressive ads is that they cause more battery drainage. “While the Google Play apps found are not tagged as malware, but more as Riskware, users are strongly encouraged to always have a security solution installed on their devices, as it can accurately identify these apps and prevent users from installing them.”