Android malware: 600 apps from the Play Store flood users with ads

Android malware

Google continues its relentless fight against malware on Android. The Mountain View company has just removed from the Play Store nearly 600 applications that invade users of pop-up ads. According to Google, the developers behind these applications do not respect the rules of its store.

“Nearly 600 applications have been deleted from the Google Play Store” announces Google in a blog post on February 20, 2020. In the process, the internet giant also banned the applications from accessing AdMob and AdManager, its two monetization platforms. Google accuses developers of violating the Play Store rules for advertising.

Google declares war on adware on the Play Store

Google Play store

Unsurprisingly, Google obviously allows developers to display advertisements within their applications. These practices are however should meet the rules of the Play Store. Google thus prohibits “disruptive advertisements”, which are “advertisements that are displayed to users unexpectedly by interfering with the use of their smartphone”.

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For example, Google, therefore, does not allow developers to display advertisements “when the user is not using the application”. If an app floods you with ads while it is closed, it violates the rules of the Play Store. Sometimes this adware can even display ads when your smartphone screen is idle or during a phone call. “This approach can lead to unwanted ad clicks, which wastes advertisers’ money,” regrets Google. This is notably the preferred approach of the latest adware that appeared on the Play Store.

According to Google, fraudsters multiply the tricks to hide the behavior of their applications. For example, some developers add “dropper” malware. It’s a computer tool that hides malicious code from Google scanners. At first, the code seems harmless. “We have recently developed an innovative approach based on machine learning to detect when applications display advertisements out of context” assures Google.

“We will continue to invest in new technologies to detect and prevent emerging threats,” continues the Mountain View company. Despite the many measures taken by Google, malware continues to proliferate on the Play Store. Recently, VPN Pro researchers spotted 24 Android malware on the Play Store. A few weeks earlier, Trend Micro discovered 49 applications contaminated with adware. At the end of October, ESET revealed the presence of a virus in the code of 42 apps from the Play Store. There is no shortage of examples of this ilk.

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