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Cybercriminals Advertise Android Applications On Facebook To Spread Adware

Cybercriminals Advertise Android Applications On Facebook To Spread Adware


Recently, cybercriminals are known to be aggressively spreading adware by promoting or advertising it on Facebook as an Android cleaner and optimizer application.

It is known, the act of placing adware ads under the guise of an Android application on Facebook has already pocketed the number of installations up to millions of times on the Google Play Store.

When installed to an Android tablet or phone, this app doesn’t have all the features it promises. Instead, the app pushes ads on the device for as long as possible.

In order to avoid being uninstalled or removed from the device, the perpetrator programs this adware application to hide on the victim’s Android phone or tablet.

The perpetrators programmed the malicious application so that it can continuously change its icon and name, such as becoming Settings or the Play Store itself.

This adware disguised as an official application was discovered by researchers at McAfee. They note, users do not need to open the application to see this adware in action.

“Once installed, the adware will display advertisements automatically without any interaction from the user,” the McAfee team wrote in its report, Monday (1/8/2022).

The research team explains, the first action of this annoying app is to make the service permanent to show ads.

If this process is forcibly “killed” by the user, then the adware created by cybercriminals will immediately reactivate.

The following are adware applications that were perched on the Google Play Store.

Most of the affected users are based in South Korea, Japan and Brazil. Not only those three countries, this adware has also reached users globally.

This app is no longer available on the Play Store. However, users who already have it installed will have to manually remove it from the device.

Information, utility apps like cleaners and system optimizers are the most popular categories in the Play Store.

Criminals know that a large number of users are trying to use these app solutions to extend device life or optimize hardware.

On the other hand, cybersecurity researchers found information-stealing adware and malware plastered on the Google Play Store.

At least, the five adware and malware applications are currently still available and have been downloaded more than 2 million times via the Google Play Store.

It is known, this adware infection results in the victim being shown a row of annoying advertisements, draining the battery, quickly heating up Android phones, and subscribing to premium services without the user knowing.

Like other malicious software, adware and malware are often hidden by perpetrators by disguising them as other applications.

With this, the perpetrator can make a profit by forcing the victim to watch or click every time an ad appears on the device screen.

However, trojans that steal user information can be used for more malicious things. Perpetrators can steal login credentials for other websites, including social media accounts and online banking.

Researcher at Dr. The Web reports that adware and data-stealing trojan applications were among the most prominent Android threats in May 2022.

Citing the report, Dr. Web, Wednesday (22/6/2022), spyware applications with the ability to steal information from other application notifications are the most common.

Mentioned, this spyware is able to take a 2FA passcode (OTP) and take over the victim’s account.

Among the many threats that managed to infiltrate the Google Play Store, the following five malware and adware applications are still available.

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