Have you been downloading apps from Google Play recently? If so, you might want to scan through your phone for now. A new batch of malicious programs has been deleted from Google Play after it was found that they installed annoying adware and browser redirects without informing users.
If this sounds like déjà vu to you, you’re not wrong. The cycle of malware on Google Play getting discovered and promptly deleted has been going on for years now, and the problem doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. Tap or click here to see the last batch of malware deleted from the Google Play store.
To help you secure your phone, we have the complete list of malicious apps to watch out for. If any of these are present on your device, you need to delete them now.
Surprise! New malicious adware found on Google Play Store
Security researchers working for WhiteOps have a new report detailing malicious apps that were present on the Google Play Store with millions of downloads. These programs primarily masqueraded as beauty filters and camera apps, but once installed by a user, they begin to spam advertisements and sudden redirects to scam websites.
Some of these apps took efforts to remove the malicious code to keep up the appearance of normalcy, but not all of them went this far. In fact, some apps continued spamming users over the course of several months starting back in late 2019 all the way up to mid-2020.
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To make matters worse, the malicious apps would sometimes delete their own app icon, which can make it difficult to find and uninstall them.
In response, Google did what it always does in this situation: Remove the offending apps. Unfortunately, this does little to mitigate the problem for victims who may have already installed the apps without knowing how dangerous they were.
In the nick of time: The offending apps
When malicious apps get removed from Google Play, it can be difficult to find out their specific names after the fact. Fortunately, we have the complete list of apps to examine your phone for and remove.
If you have any of these apps on your device, delete them immediately. Regardless of how fun or useful their features may seem, it’s not worth dealing with potentially dangerous advertisements and annoying redirects to spam and phishing websites. Here’s what you need to delete:
- Yoroko Camera
- Solu Camera
- Lite Beauty Camera
- Beauty Collage Lite
- Beauty & Filters Camera
- Photo Collage & Beauty Camera
- Beauty Camera Selfie Filter
- Gaty Beauty Camera
- Pand Selife Beauty Camera
- Catoon Photo Editor & Selfie Beauty Camera
- Benbu Selife Beauty Camera
- Pinut Selife Beauty Camera & Photo Editor
- Mood Photo Editor & Selife Beauty Camera
- Rose Photo Editor & Selfie Beauty Camera
- Selife Beauty Camera & Photo Editor
- Fog Selife Beauty Camera
- First Selife Beauty Camera & Photo Editor
- Vanu Selife Beauty Camera
- Sun Pro Beauty Cameraa
- Funny Sweet Beauty Camera
- Little Bee Beauty Camera
- Beauty Camera & Photo Editor Pro
- Grass Beauty Camera
- Ele Beauty Camera
- Flower Beauty Camera
- Best Selfie Beauty Camera
- Orange Camera
- Sunny Beauty Camera
- Pro Selfie Beauty Camera
- Selfie Beauty Camera Pro
- Elegant Beauty Cam-2019
As you can see, it’s a significantly long list of apps, and to make matters worse, most had download levels ranging from 500,000 installs to millions. In all likelihood, many people are already affected without knowing.
Once the apps are deleted, however, you shouldn’t run into any more issues. The code that executes to take you to spam sites and advertisements is embedded in the apps. If you do have any other problems, you might want to consider restoring your Android phone to factory settings. Tap or click here to see how to do this.
Just make sure you’ve backed up your data before going through with a restore.
While it’s good that Google takes alerts like this seriously, one has to wonder why it can’t adopt Apple’s model of tight scrutiny on app submissions. If Google caught malicious apps before they ever had a chance to be downloaded, we might not even need to run reports like this. We won’t hold our breath, though.