Mysterious Malware Infects 6 Million Google Play Store Apps

Google may have vowed to have undertake efforts to remove every sort of virus from the Play Store, but a new report has made that claim contentious.

Courtesy of SophosLabs, the report claims the existence of a new adware on the store, containing the MarsDae-A library of ads.

Once on your device, the adware allows a barrage of constant pop-ups to appear on your display, whether they are forced shut or not. It achieves this by a clever never-ending cycle which puts the users in agony.

So far, the researchers have identified 47 apps that are infected by the adware. However, being downloaded a combined sum of 6 million times shows the extent of the problem.

The list of apps which includes infected ones can be found on SophosLabs’s website. As you’d expect, most of the apps include utility and productivity apps, which aren’t sophisticated by design.

A particular specimen shown there was the Snap Pic Collage Color Splash app, which has been downloaded more than 50,000 times. The adware affects phones ranging from Android 2.3 Gingerbread to 6.0 Marshmallow, meaning newer phones are considerably safer when it comes to infections.

Google has taken steps to combat this adware in the past, however, the problem still remains.

This clearly demonstrates that despite persistent claims by Google of having tightened security standards on the Play Store, the platform remains open to fishy activities.

Ultimately, SophosLabs claims that the biggest downfall of these apps is the user-experience itself. As disgruntled users flood the app page with one-star reviews, it is more than a good sign for most users to avoid the app.

In the meantime, users can stay vigilant by using only highly-rated apps, from notable developers. Also, make sure you have updated your phone or have one which receives new security updates.