Adware Detector TrendMicro Specifies 85 Fraudulent Apps Posing Adware From Playstore. Google Removes Them All

    An adware researcher, TrendMicro detects 85 new apps that were listed on the name of photography or gaming apps in the Playstore.

    A few of them are Cos Camera, Pop Camera, One Stroke Puzzle, Super Selfie, etc. These apps, 85 in total, had a combined download of over eight million! These were immediately reported to Google and removed by the company right away.

    Adware Detector TrendMicro
    Adware Detector TrendMicro

    With the name of “AndroidOS_Hidenad.HRXH“, this Adware sits on the phone after installing and is hard to remove. Apart from displaying advertisements that are difficult to close, these adware uses unique techniques to evade detection through user behavior and time-based triggers.

    TrendMicro, in its blog, said, “After the app is launched, it first records two timestamps: the current time as “installTime”, and the network time, whose timestamp is retrieved by abusing a publicly available and legitimate RESTful application programming interface (API), then stored as “networkInstallTime”. Afterward, it registers a Broadcast Receiver for android.intent.action.USER_PRESENT dynamically. This helps monitor if the user is present after the affected device is woken up.

    While the apps do have actual functionalities of the applications they are posing as these ads are shown in full screen. Users are forced to view the whole duration of the ad before being able to close it or go back to the app itself. Moreover, the frequency of ads being displayed can be remotely configured by the fraudster (the default is five minutes), so it could exacerbate the nuisance for users.”

    Tips to overcome:

    Tips to What TrendMicro and other experts say is to be updated. Whether in terms of information or about your phone, you gotta be updated about what’s going around. Updating to the latest software and using verified apps could be helpful. Letting Google’s Play Protect do its work would sway away most of the problems. But being ignorant and installing some shitty apps just because they look good could harm as best.

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