Cybersecurity firm Avast has warned Google of 21 adware gaming apps on the Google Play Store of which 19 are still available to download. According to the cybersecurity company, the gaming apps contain adware from the HiddenAds family that is essentially a Trojan malware in disguise. At the moment, Google is still investigating reports on the adware gaming apps, the company added. As per data provided by SensorTower, these 21 apps collectively have over eight million downloads on the app store.
Avast claims that several of these adware gaming apps’ promotional content were spotted on YouTube and other social media platforms. After downloading them from Google Play Store, the gaming apps hardly offered anything from what they promoted but bombarded the phone with annoying advertisements. “Following the download, advertisements started flooding their phones,” the company stated. The 21 adware gaming apps on Google Play Store found by Avast includes Shoot Them, Crush Car, Rolling Scroll, Helicopter Attack – NEW, Assassin Legend – 2020 NEW, Helicopter Shoot, Rugby Pass, Flying Skateboard, Iron it, Shooting Run, Plant Monster, Find Hidden, Find 5 Differences – 2020 NEW, Rotate Shape, Jump Jump, Find the Differences – Puzzle Game, Sway Man, Money Destroyer, Desert Against, Cream Trip – NEW, and Props Rescue. Although adware contains relatively less malicious codes than several other malwares, they can at times open door for other programs, therefore posing a risk of data compromise and even hacking.
At the moment, Google is yet to share details about the 21 adware gaming apps reported by Avast. The cybersecurity company adds that while Google is constantly trying to remove adware from the Play Store, “malicious apps keep finding new ways to disguise their true purpose.” It is unclear how these apps bypassed Google’s apps security protocol laid by Google Play Protect service. Avast cautions smartphones users to read reviews and other details regarding apps on app stores before downloading them.