Last Month, the internet was buzzing with constant reports from various media outlets and researchers about malicious apps caught on Google Store. The figures for last month are pretty disappointing for common users who wouldn’t even know if they downloaded an app or clicked on any link within any app to install adware or any malicious code that would cause serious privacy & security inflictions.
According to Forbes, the stats for last month are over 335 million installed across 172 harmful apps that have been downloaded across Android devices whose count has boomed and now is inching closer to almost 3 billion devices with all Android devices combined.
We saw plenty of apps that were tagged as harmful or malicious in some or other ways such as an app that was reported by Trend Micro which was installed over 8 million times. A contributor Zak Doffman reported two of the selfie apps and VPN apps that have been cumulatively installed over 500 million times across the Google Play Store.
According to the data, the biggest contributor to the malicious apps that were reported and removed was adware which accounted for over 300 million installs across 48 apps. Apart from that, attackers and hackers use subscription scams as well where researchers have reported over 15 apps with 20 million+ downloads. Similarly, there are dozens of other malicious apps such as banking trojan, fake app, stalkware, hidden ads, spyware, hidden app, credit card phishing, fake antivirus, SMS premium subscription, and fake cryptocurrency exchanges that have accounted for over 335,962,400+ installs to be exact.
People are worried about the integrity of apps on the Google Play Store but the situation is getting worse. It would be interesting to see how Google tackles this situation. After the onset of Google Play Protect, more than 66% of app submissions are automatically rejected which has reduced the frequency of malicious apps but it is a concern that either the number of these unwanted apps are increasing or the number of security researchers searching and reporting the same are increasing which might explain why we see too many malicious apps being discovered lately.