Researchers at McAfee detailed a campaign where a few malicious Play Store apps are pushing ads on users’ devices, promising to serve as system optimizers or cleaners.
All these apps are aggressively promoted on Facebook and together have millions of downloads from the Play Store. Though Google removed them from its app store, users who downloaded them are advised to uninstall them manually. Here are they;
13 Adware Apps Removed from Play Store
Since people want their devices to be clean of junk and optimized for better performance, they use tools that may help them to do so. And unsuspecting people install unnecessary apps that may not serve the actual purpose but instead perform other malicious activities.
One such incident caught the eye of McAfee researchers, who noted a campaign where scammers are promoting the below adware apps on Facebook – with links to the Play Store for direct download.
- Junk Cleaner, cn.junk.clean.plp, 1M+ downloads
- EasyCleaner, com.easy.clean.ipz, 100K+ downloads
- Power Doctor, com.power.doctor.mnb, 500K+ downloads
- Super Clean, com.super.clean.zaz, 500K+ downloads
- Full Clean -Clean Cache, org.stemp.fll.clean, 1M+ downloads
- Fingertip Cleaner, com.fingertip.clean.cvb, 500K+ downloads
- Quick Cleaner, org.qck.cle.oyo, 1M+ downloads
- Keep Clean, org.clean.sys.lunch, 1M+ downloads
- Windy Clean, in.phone.clean.www, 500K+ downloads
- Carpet Clean, og.crp.cln.zda, 100K+ downloads
- Cool Clean, syn.clean.cool.zbc, 500K+ downloads
- Strong Clean, in.memory.sys.clean, 500K+ downloads
These apps posing as system cleaners and optimizers lack the promised functionality and instead push ads to the infected device. They also change their icons and names constantly to evade detection and aims to stay longer on the victim’s device.
Researchers said users who installed the apps don’t even need to open them even for once, but can see ads popping up everywhere – and making them think that they’re being pushed legitimately.
Most of the affected users are in South Korea, Japan, and Brazil, but these adware apps have a fair presence all over the world. Google removed these apps from the Play Store, but users who may have downloaded them should uninstall them manually.