This year it seems as though we have been giving you a list of Android apps to uninstall quite often. These are apps that look to steal your personal data, click on hidden ads, take over control of your phone and more. Any way that a buck can be made, bad actors will find a way to do it by getting you to install a malicious app. According to security firm White Ops
), there is a list of 104 Android apps that should not be installed on an Android device. If they are already installed, they should be uninstalled immediately. And there is a chance that you might have one of these on your phone; after all, in aggregate, these titles have been loaded more than 4.6 million times.
White Ops says that these apps use two different codes called "Soraka" and "Sogo" that will show full-display ads on an Android phone. The ads help the bad actors earn money and to keep the gravy train going, they are capable of hiding from anti-malware software (more on that later). John Laycock of White Ops notes, "Those hiding behaviors are significant. The fraudsters are getting smarter—they know this is now an arms race, they’re trying to slow down analysis with these tactics. We’re seeing these types of behaviors more and more."
Once again the Comments section can help you find red flags
An app named "Best Fortune Explorer" is listed in the Google Play Store
and the listing hints that the app can tell the future. "Do you want to know when your true love will come? Do you want to know how your family goes in the future? Do you want to know if you will be given a promotion and an increase in salary in the future?" The app is for entertainment purposes only, but a quick scan of the comments section can save you from installing malware on your phone. In the case of "Best Fortune Explorer," one user raised a red flag by writing, "The main problem is that you will get non stop ads—it’s like a virus." Another comment warns (in broken English), "Don't download it. You will just time pass. And main problem after download is you will get non stop ads and ads. Even you cannot get to use anything. And also there is nothing like shown in ads. It is like a virus." Four comments in a row were complaints about the number of ads served up by the app. That right there is the perfect warning.
If you see a Comments section like the one found on the Play Store listing for Best Fortune Explorer, run away from the app as fast as you can
Now here's the thing. As mentioned earlier, these bad actors are figuring out how to avoid detection. The 104 malware-infected apps will only show ads if someone installed one of them through a promotion inviting the user to install it. This is a smart move on the part of the bad guys because it helps the apps escape detection by automated systems. The latter will install an app and then check it out for any bad behaviors. But if these bad behaviors only surface if the app was installed through an invite, it makes it hard for researchers to discover them.
Check your installed apps looking for the following 104 titles. If you have any of these on your handset, delete it immediately. And do not install any of the 104 apps on your Android device: