Google bans popular Android apps! Millions warned to remove them now

There’s a fresh Android warning out this week and it’s a timely reminder to be aware before installing any new apps onto your smartphone. The latest alert has been issued by security experts at McAfee Mobile Security who recently discovered a bunch of applications that had been infected with a malicious software library.

Although the apps themselves weren’t created to be harmful, the bug that’s managed to infiltrate them makes the software extremely harmful for users. To make matters worse, some of the apps have been installed millions of times making this a serious issue.

Once one of the contaminated applications is loaded onto a phone, it can be used by crooks to see things such as Wi-Fi history, which apps are being used and even look at nearby GPS locations. That means a cyber criminal could know exactly where you have travelled on a specific day.

Another nightmare with this attack is that it allows online crooks to perform ad fraud by clicking on rogue advertisements in the background. This is all done without the owner ever knowing and can rake in huge money for criminals. Although ad fraud doesn’t put the smartphone user at risk, it can slow devices down with things becoming overworked and overloaded with data.

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Explaining more about the attack, SangRyol Ryu from McAfee said: “The research team has found more than 60 applications containing this third-party malicious library, with more than 100 million downloads,” McAfee confirmed.

“We reported the discovered apps to Google, which took prompt action.

“Google has reportedly notified the developers that their apps are in violation of Google Play policies and fixes are needed to reach compliance. Some apps were removed from Google Play while others were updated by the official developers.”

Whilst some developers have cooperated at speed with Google’s requests, it seems over 30 have now been blocked as the apps were still found to contain the malicious software library.

Here are some of the apps that have been deleted

Compass 9: Smart Compass • Over 1 million installs

Bounce Brick Breaker • Over 1 million installs

Infinite Slice • Over 1 million installs

SomNote – Beautiful note app • Over 1 million installs

UBhind: Mobile Tracker Manager • Over 1 million installs


The only good news about this attack is that it currently only appears to be active in South Korea and there are no reports of any UK users being hit by the bug.

However, that doesn’t mean you should let your guard down as there are still plenty of ways your phone could be targeted in the future.

To make sure you stay safe, it’s good practice to always read reviews before downloading any new apps and check out the developer to make sure they have a good reputation.

If you notice your phone’s behaviour change after an installation – such as slowing down, battery drain or getting hot – it might be worth considering hitting the delete button.

It’s also a bad idea to download applications from third-party providers as this software often doesn’t go through the same rigorous checks made by Google’s Play Store.

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