Skip to main content

Adware Continues To Be A Major Issue On Android Devices 

By January 15, 2019June 2nd, 2022Cybersecurity

Google has been busy in recent weeks.  They’ve removed a staggering 85 apps from their Play Store when they discovered that they were pushing highly aggressive adware to the users who downloaded them.

The apps the company removed were wearing a number of disguises, passing themselves off as everything from games, to remote control simulators, to streaming video services, and more. On occasion, they actually delivered at least some functionality to the user.  Unfortunately, they also pushed an excessive number of full-screen ads and pop-ups.

Although Google has a fairly robust system in place designed to prevent such apps from winding up on the Play Store to begin with, a steady stream of malicious apps continues to make an appearance.  Worse, the company didn’t spot the ones they recently removed.  Researchers at Trend Micro made the discovery, and informed Google.

To the company’s credit, they responded immediately, but the damage had already been done.  Taken together, the apps in question had already been downloaded more than nine million times by the time the company purged them from their system.

Even after notifying Google of their discovery, Trend Micro continued to test the apps they discovered and found that they came from a variety of different developers, although many of them shared the same, or at least highly similar code.

The two best strategies to avoid these kinds of apps are about as straightforward as it gets:

  • Do your due diligence and steer clear of any app that doesn’t have stellar ratings and solid reviews.
  • Be sure you’ve got a good antivirus app on your device with ad blocking functionality.

If, even after following that advice, your system still winds up getting infected and you find yourself bombarded with unwanted ads, uninstall it immediately.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.