21 Android Gaming Apps That Offer Intrusive Advertising: Avast
Research firm Avast has discovered up to 21 game apps in the Google Play store that offer hidden advertising. These apps masquerade as games and display intrusive advertisements once installed. Intelligence firm Sensor Tower notes that these apps have been downloaded roughly eight million times so far. In addition to displaying annoying ads outside of the app, they also frequently hide their icons so they can’t be removed, and hide behind relevant-looking ads that make it difficult to identify.
The 21 adware applications that were discovered from Avast include Find 5 Differences, Rotate Shape, Jump Jump, Find the Differences – Puzzle Game, Sway Man, Money Destroyer, Desert Against, Cream Trip, Props Rescue, Shoot Them, Crush Car, Rolling Scroll, Helicopter Attack, Assassin Legend, Shoot Helicopter, Rugby Pass, Flying Skateboard, Iron, Shoot Run, Plant Monster and Find Hidden.
All of these apps are reportedly serving intrusive and annoying ads for monetary gain. A check showed that most of these apps have been removed from the Google Play store, but some are still there. It is recommended that users uninstall these apps if they have them installed on their Android phones. If you can’t see the app icon on your phone, head over to the Google Play listing and manually uninstall it from there.
Some of the best practices to avoid installing rogue apps include reading reviews and evaluating user experiences before hitting the install button. Avast also noted that some of these apps have very few downloads and reviews, but the few reviews they do have are extremely positive and enthusiastic. Threat analyst Jakub Vávra says this can also be a sign that something is suspicious.
Avast also encourages users to be more aware before granting permissions to any application. For example, a weather app shouldn’t ask for permission to access your microphone and a wallpaper app doesn’t need access to storage. All these strange requests for permission could serve as red flags to determine the quality of the application.