Researchers at Dr. Web discovered a bunch of apps in Google Play Store that is making users watch ads for fake payments.
Setting a threshold, these apps disguise as activity tracking to earn money and demand users to watch ads for withdrawal. Also, there’s another set of malicious apps disguised as investment services and games pushing phishing pages for stealing sensitive data.
Malicious Apps in Google Play Store
- Lucky Step – Walking Tracker – 10 million downloads
- WalkingJoy – 5 million downloads
- Lucky Habit: health tracker – 5 million downloads
All these apps are still available in Google Play Store at the time of writing this and promote themselves as health, pedometer, and good habit-building apps – promising to reward users for staying fit in their daily lives.
And when they reach the said threshold, users are asked to watch ads to withdraw the balance. Dr. Web researchers said it’s impossible for victims to withdraw the rewards, as they’ll continue to watch ads without any limit.
All these connect to the same remote server address, depicting that the operator or developer of all these apps as one. Further, the report stated that an earlier version of the Lucky Step app even gave users an option to convert their balance into redeemable gift cards – to be used in popular stores nearby.
There’s yet another app named Wonder Time – which promises to offer real money for completing various tasks like installing additional applications and games – but is termed as fake. Although it has over 500,000 downloads in Google Play Store.
Lastly, the report has also stated a bunch of apps disguised as investment services and games – spreading phishing pages to steal the sensitive data of users. Below are the apps which amassed over 450,000 downloads;
- Golden Hunt – 100,000 downloads
- Reflector – 100,000 downloads
- Seven Golden Wolf blackjack – 100,000 downloads (still on Google Play)
- Unlimited Score – 50,000 downloads
- Big Decisions – 50,000 downloads
- Jewel Sea – 10,000 downloads
- Lux Fruits Game – 10,000 downloads
- Lucky Clover – 10,000 downloads
- King Blitz – 5,000 downloads
- Lucky Hammer – 1,000 downloads
If you have any of them, it’s highly recommended to uninstall them right away and scan your device with antivirus software or even Google Play Protect to safeguard yourself.