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New adware that can destroy your phone found in 200 apps so check your phones now

Cybercriminals have a good number of tricks to fool you into downloading mobile malware. And they’re not just tricking regular users, they’re fooling app developers too. Look out, if you’re not too careful, you can be their next victim.

Take these freshly outed apps, for example. They’ve been available in the official Google Play Store for months now, amassing millions and millions of downloads.

Unknown to everyone, they are all infected with a sneaky piece of malicious profit-generating software commonly known as adware.

Check your phone now.

Read on and see if any of the more than 200 infected apps are installed on your gadget and remove them immediately.

SimBad has surprises

Security researchers at Check Point discovered a new kind of Android malware disguised as an advertising platform and it is believed to be infecting more 200 apps in the official Google Play. The combined download total of all the apps? More than 150 million.

Most of the apps appear to be mostly simulations games but some are a mish-mash of utilities like photo editors and browsers.

The malware, dubbed as SimBad, apparently sneaks into apps by inserting itself into Software Development Kits (SDK) and by presenting itself to developers as a legitimate ad-serving platform. However, what the developers don’t realize is that the malicious platform is actually piggy-backing their apps to evade the Google Play Store’s app scanning system. 

Once an infected app is installed, SimBad opens a backdoor on the phone and installs additional malware. This malware then deletes its app icon and runs persistently in the background, restarting itself every time the infected phone boots up.

While running in the background, SimBad also gets instructions from a central command and center and goes through a list of web addresses to serve ads and generate false profit at the expense of the phone’s owner.



Apps pulled from the Google Play Store

Check Point already informed Google about the scheme and thankfully, all 200+ apps were pulled from the Google Play Store. Some of the infected apps date back to March 2017.

Here’s the list of the apps infected by SimBad (courtesy of Check Point):

3D Photo Frame Cube Live Wallpaper
4D Maa Durga Live Wallpaper
Ambulance Driver Extreme Rescue
Ambulance Rescue Driving
American muscle car race
Animal Farming Simulator
Animal Parts Photo Editor
Anti Theft & Full Battery Alarm
Anti-spam Calls
Audio Video Mixer
Auto Call redial
Beard mustache hairstyle changer Editor
Best App Lock
Bike Wheel of Death
Bollywood Videos
Bottle Shoot
Bottle shoot archery
Bottle Shoot Sniper 3D
Brain Games & IQ Test
Broken Screen – Cracked Screen
Calendar 2018 Photo Frame
Caller Location & Mobile Location Tracker
Camper Van Driving
Camper Van Race Driving Simulator 2018
Car Parking Challenge
Car Photo Frame
Cars Transport Truck Driver 2018
Change your voice
Christmas greetings card
Christmas letters to santa and three wise man
Christmas Magic Board
Christmas Truck Transport Simulator
City Metro Bus Pk Driver Simulator 2017
Clock Live Wallpaper
Compatibility Test
Connect Letters. Words Game
Custom Radio Alarm Clock
Deleted Files Recovery
Deleted Photo Recovery
Demolition Derby
Dinosaur Park – Train Rescue
DJ Photo Frames
Dog Crazy Race Simulator
Dog Race Simulator
DSLR Camera Blur
Dual Screen Browser
EDIT Flowers Photo Frames
Excavator Wrecking Ball Demolition Simulator
Extreme Motorcycle Racer
Extreme Rally Championship
Face Beauty Makeup
Farming Tractor Real Harvest Simulator
Farming Transport Simulator 2018
Fire text photo frame
Fire Truck Emergency Driver
Fire Truck Emergency Rescue – Driving Simulator
Flag face paint: World Cup 2018
Flash Alert – Flash on Call
Flash on Call and SMS
Flying Ambulance Emergency Rescue
Flying Car Stunts On Extreme Tracks
Flying Motorbike Stunts
Flying taxi simulator
Food Truck Driving Simulator
Football Results & Stats Analyzer
Fortune Wheel
Fortune Wheel Deluxe
Full Screen Incoming Call
Gallery Lock
Garbage Truck – City trash cleaning simulator
Garden Photo Editor
girlfriend photo editor
Girlfriend Photo Editor 2
Green Hill PhotoFrame
Guess the picture
Hands Slap Game
Harvest Timber Simulator
Heart Photo Frames
Heavy Excavator – Stone Cutter Simulator
Heavy Excavator Stone Driller Simulator
Heavy Mountain Bus Simulator 2018
Heavy Snow Excavator Christmas Rescue
Heavy Snow Excavator Snowplow Simulator
High Wheeler Speed Race
Hot Micro Racers
House Transport Truck – Moving Van Simulator
Hoverboard Racing
Hoverboard Racing Spider Attack
Hovercraft Racer
Hummer taxi limo simulator
Impossible Farming Transport Simulator
Impossible Tracks – Extreme Trucks
Jetpack Water
Lara Unicorn Dash
Live Translator
Love Caller Screen
Love Caller Screen 2
Love Caller with love ringtones
Luxury Photo Frame
Mad Cars Fury Racing
Magic Glow Live Wallpaper
Magical Unicorn Dash
Man Casual Shirt Photo Suit
Max Player
Men Sweatshirt Photo Editor
Missile Attack Army Truck
Mobile number locator
Mobile Number Tracker & Locator
Modern Santa – Christmas van drive
Modi Photo Frame 2
Monster Truck
Monster Truck Demolition
Moster vs Water
Motorbike Pizza Delivery
Motorsport Race Championship
Mountain Bus Simulator
Move App To SD Card 2016
Mustang Driving Car Race
Mustang Rally Championship
My name on Live Wallpaper
My Photo on Music Player
Name on Pic-Name art
Nature Photo Frames
Number Coloring
Offroad buggy car racing
Offroad Christmas Tree Transport
Offroad Gold Transport Truck Driver 2018
Offroad jeep car racing
Offroad Nuclear Waste Transport – Truck Driver
Offroad Snow Bike – Christmas Racing
OffRoad Tractor Transport
Offroad Wood Transport Truck Driver 2018
Oil Tanker Transport Truck Driver
Phone Finder
Phone number locator
Photo Background Changer 2017
Photo Live Wallpaper
Photo on Birthday Cake
Photo Video Maker with Music
Pirate Ship Boat Racing 3D
Police Chase
Police Plane Transporter
Pop Toy Creator
Pop Toy Creator 2
Porgy Virtual Pet
Prado Parking Adventure
Racing Car Stunts On Impossible Tracks
Racing Car Stunts On Impossible Tracks 2
Racing Horse Championship 3D
Real Tractor Farming Simulator
Recover Deleted Pictures
Royale Stats
Sea Animals Truck Transport Simulator
Secret screen recorder
Selfie Camera
Shayari 2017
Snow Heavy Excavator Simulator
Speed Boat Jet Ski Racing
Speed Boat Racing
Super Cycle Downhill Rider
Super Cycle Jungle Rider
Super Cycle Rider
SUV car – parking simulator
Tank Transport Army Truck
Tanks Attack
Tap the Ball
Toilet Paper Race
Top Paheliya 2016
Tractor Farming 2018
Tractor Farming Simulator
Train Driving Simulator
Truck Transport and Parking Simulator
Truck Wheel of Death
Turban Photo Editor
Unicorn Float – Speed Race
Urban Limo Taxi Simulator
Van Pizza
Video and photo Guard
Voice reading for SMS. Whatsapp & text sms
Volume Control Widget
Volumen Booster
Volumen booster & Equalizer
Water Skiing
Water Surfing Car Stunt
Water Surfing Motorbike Stunt
Waterpark Car Racing
Wingsuit Simulator
Women Make Up and Hairstyle Photo Maker
World cup 2018 football shirt maker
World Cup 2018 Teams Flags Live Wallpaper
World Famous Photo Frames

As usual, this sneaky malware may be considered as adware for now but since it installs additional malicious software in the background, it can evolve into something worse.

How to delete malicious apps in Android

If you still have any of the listed apps on your phone, please uninstall them immediately, since removal from the app store doesn’t uninstall it from your device.

To review and remove questionable apps on Android, go to Settings >> then Apps or Application Manager. Look through the list and keep an eye out for anything that’s odd or unfamiliar.

Tap the questionable app you want to get rid of and this will open up the App Info screen. First, remove the app’s data cache by hitting “Clear Cache.” Next, delete the app’s data by tapping “Clear Data.”

Once these steps are done, click on the “Uninstall” button to remove the app.

Sometimes, sneaky app developers hide their fake apps by making their title and icons invisible. If that’s the case, look for blank spaces in your Application Manager and uninstall them as usual.

For stubborn apps that have hijacked your gadget’s administrator permissions, try removing them in Safe Mode. Unfortunately, if that doesn’t work, your only other option is to wipe your data, factory reset your device, and start over.

This is why it is also so critical to have a reliable backup service. All it would take is one nasty fake app or mobile malware and you could lose it all. To back up all your gadgets, including Android, iOS, Mac and PC devices under one account, we recommend our sponsor IDrive. Check out IDrive today and save 50% thanks to Kim!

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