Google removes 85 apps Play Store over hidden adware

Yolanda Curtis
August 18, 2019

Earlier this year we told you that Google was rolling out a redesigned UI for the Google Play Store. All four apps were downloaded over a million times each. 85 adware-infested apps have been removed from the Google Play Store - the adware in question is known as "AndroidOS_Hidenad.HRXH", according to Trend Micro.

Google Play Store is an app library and not a standalone application as you all know and this new update comes with a handful of under the hood software tweaks.

The adware-laden apps were masquerading as photography or gaming apps on the Play Store. Their removal was triggered after Trend Micro security researchers sent the results of their recent adware investigation to Google. Upon installation, the malicious apps replace their icon on the Android home screen with a shortcut, which unlike a default icon can't be removed by dragging it the trash bin.


Ever downloaded an app and then suddenly see more ads that are even harder to remove than before?

Alternatively, you could simply avoid downloading any apps that you don't trust.

However, the team believes users running Android 8.0 and above might be unaffected.


Those who have an old Android device in their possession have the option to install the Google Play Store if the device runs Android 2.2 Froyo or better.

Super Selfie, Cos Camera, Pop Camera, and One Stroke Line Puzzle are just some of the adware-laden apps discovered by researchers, but a full list can be found here. This helps hide the adware from mobile antiviruses, which automatically quarantine software that starts displaying unusual activity soon after being downloaded. Often, these are disguised as other software, in the current case as fully-functioning apps, to trick users into installing them.

While they do not seem too harmful and are for the most part annoying, cybercriminals cash in for pestering the victims of adware, and they can cost companies heavy financial losses.


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