ESET cyber-experts recently released a report about rogue apps that got Android phone owners worried.
Most of us trust apps on our devices’ app store, especially Play Store for Android phone users. We shun uncertified sources or websites but trust our app stores.
Here is another thing that gives us the green light to download an app. Thousands or even millions of downloads.
You simply assume that hundreds of thousands of people cannot be wrong.
Experts have now verified that this verification process has exposed us to malware.
In fact, one of the malicious apps that the cyber experts found had more than five million downloads. Would you be suspicious of such an app?
Dangers of installing malicious apps
App users have had concerns about the permissions that apps require during the installation process. You cannot use an app unless you grant the permissions.
The concerns are valid. One of the risks of installing a rogue app is that it shares information about your device with a third party.
Your guess is right. The third parties here are criminals who will misuse your information.
Mobile application developers in Kenya will tell you that most app owners earn from ads. For business owners, apps help them maximise sales.
However, most crooks have no real business but a bunch of malware ads. Hence, they will run the ads in the background while you use a malicious app.
You will never suspect the malicious activities because the ads do not show on your screen.
Sometimes the crooks are bold enough to run the ads even when you are not using the adware app.
The result is that your phone battery life’s is ruined.
Could this be the reason why your phone’s battery never lasts? Before you replace the battery in frustration, consider this possibility and clean up the device.
You might not need a new battery after all!
Why so many downloads?
According to experts, the apps attract many downloads because they disguise themselves as useful apps. Top on the list of the “adware” apps as they are commonly called is an app that enables you to download videos.
Other malicious apps are games or tools that you will definitely need to use your device.
Think about the number of times you get a file that you cannot open or read with any of the apps of your phone.
You immediately run to the app store for a tool without realising that you are exposing your device to adware apps.
Users do not always install suspicious apps. You may install one that will then install other malicious apps.
When the illegal installation is complete, crooks will delete the icon from the apps menu.
You will only see a shortcut, which you will be quick to delete and assume that all is well.
Meanwhile, a bunch of adware apps is using your phone’s software to run ads.
Be careful of apps that bring full screen ads that you cannot close.
Which apps are we talking about?
When cybersecurity experts released this list, Google was quick to delete the apps from its Play Store.
However, you must audit your device and delete the apps. Otherwise, they will continue to spy and share your information with crooks.
Here now are the apps with the corresponding number of downloads.
|App||Number of downloads|
|Video Downloader Master||5,000,000 +|
|Ringtone Maker Pro||500,000 +|
|Insta Downloader||500,000 +|
|Tank 1990||500,000 +|
|Video Downloader Master Free||100,000 +|
|Tank Battle||100,000 +|
|Basketball Shooter Challenge||100,000 +|
|World Champion 2018||100, 000 +|
|PhotoAlbum||100, 000 +|
|FB Video Downloader||100, 000 +|
|Social Downloader||100, 000 +|
|Hike Hashtags Best Hashtags for IG||100, 000 +|
|HeroesJump||100, 000 +|
|VilOader Free MP4 Video Downloader||100, 000 +|
|Video To MP4 Downloader||50,000 +|
|Puzzle Box Classic Puzzles All in One||50,000 +|
|Downloader Free Video Downloader App||50,000 +|
|DU Recorder for Android||50,000 +|
|All Video Download||50,000 +|
|Top1 Video Downloader||10,000+|
|Head Soccer 2||10,000+|
|Ringtone Maker App 2019||10,000+|
|Lite For FB||10,000+|
|TV N Radio||10,000+|
|Floating Tube By Muicv||10,000+|
|Spider Solitaire Games||5,000 +|
|Puzzle Crosssum||5,000 +|
|Yellow Craft||5,000 +|
|TVN Group Ankina Reminder Water||5,000 +|
|Ringtone Maker 2019||5,000 +|
|Flat Music||5,000 +|
|Smart Note||1,000 +|
|All Downloader||1,000 +|
|Soccer Card||1,000 +|
|Basketball Perfect Shot||1,000 +|
|Solitaire Free (Nteam)||100 +|
|Hiketop Insta Followers||1 +|
List courtesy of The Sun (UK)
Uninstalling the adware apps
You can trust crooks to do everything possible to keep their malicious apps on your device.
The icons will not easily display on your phone, especially now that the list out in the public eye.
As soon as the app installs, the app owners delete the icon and replace it with a shortcut.
After deleting the shortcuts, you need to go to your phone settings and check the list of installed apps.
You may be surprised to see the number of suspicious apps on your device.
If you love to play the latest games and solve problems with apps, you need to keep cleaning your device regularly.
We know it is a bit of pain but necessarily. Crosscheck this list with your list of apps and delete any adware app no matter how useful it has been to you.
Google has already done its part in deleting the apps from the store. Do your part now and uninstall any that you find on your device.
Mobile apps are here to stay. However, you must take responsibility of your data security. Cyber criminals will continue with their craft to make the best of mobile technology. The release of this list does not end their trade. New adware apps are likely to hit the stores if they are not there already. Be careful when installing apps and keep track of the list of apps on your devices.