On Google Play Store and Apple App Store, seven such malicious apps have been found that were showing damage to users and earning crores of rupees by showing ads. The overwhelming thing is that during the online safety campaign, a young girl alerted security researchers about these apps. These apps were promoted on social media as well.
The little user, who lives in the Czech Republic, helped Google to find seven such apps, with the help of which scammers earned approximately $ 500,000 (about 3.7 crores) as per SensonTower. Seven such apps have been detected which were making money by advertising adware scams and attacking users with such fraud scams. These apps were showing ads to users in the form of wallpaper, music apps, and entertainment, targeting children.
The apps on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store undergo several security checks, but scammers can harm users with the help of many apps. Researchers have reported that more than 2.4 million apps in play store target children by luring them for downloading such malicious apps. It is exceptional that a little girl helped security researchers to find about these apps. The search engine company have removed these apps immediately.
A project called ‘Be Safe Online Project’ was run by Avast in the Czech Republic, in which children were instructed on how to stay safe online. The young user reported the promotion of one of these malicious apps on the TikTok profile. After which the whole issue came to light and these apps were removed immediately. Interestingly, these apps were also being promoted on social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok.
These apps were attacking the users and their data secretly. It was found that the moment these apps were installed in a system, the icons of these apps were difficult to spot as these apps used to hide the icons. These instances make it difficult to uninstall them as well as unnecessary ads were showing up even when the apps were not being used.
Both Google and Apple were alerted about the apps and these apps have been removed from the Play Store. Avast quoted, ‘These apps attack and harm users by showing lots of ads and charge amount up to $10. Some of these apps are simple games, wallpaper can change with the help of some vibrate options offered by the apps or options of music playback. According to researches, these apps were promoted by such profiles which consist of followers somewhere between 5000 to 4 million.
Jakub Vávra, threat analyst at Avast thanked the young girl for reporting the TikTok profile promoting such apps while expressing the concern over the matter how these apps are promoted on social media platforms and how easily young minds fall for these apps without having any knowledge of cyber-attack and security issues created by the apps.