Researchers spotted adware hidden behind 85 Android apps including games, TV apps, and remote control apps which were available in Google Play Store. These 85 apps were downloaded over 9 million times, out of which, a particular app named ‘Easy Universal TV Remote’ was downloaded over five million times. Upon learning, Google has removed those 85 apps from the Google Play Store.
More details on the Adware
Researchers from Trend Micro identified the active adware family dubbed as AndroidOS_HidenAd. Researchers stated that this adware is capable of displaying full-screen ads, monitoring a device’s screen unlocking functionality, and running in the mobile device’s background.
Researchers investigated the 85 apps and found that all the apps exhibited similar behaviors and shared a similar code despite by being made by different app developers.
The adware-infected 85 Android apps includes Easy Universal TV Remote, Offroad Extreme, Prado Parking Simulator 3D, TDT Espana, POLSKA TV, Extreme Trucks, Canais de TV da Brazil, Garage Door Remote, Racing Car 3D, Hearts Stickers, TV World Channel, and more.
Trend Micro reported all these 85 apps to Google and Google immediately removed these apps from the Google Play Store.