MILLIONS of Facebook users are at risk from adware app attacks, security experts warn.
McAfee researchers discovered over a dozen adware apps that are aggressively promoted on social networks and masquerading as Android system cleaner apps that delete junk files or help streamline device management.
The security company has so far had at least a million installations of the malicious mobile apps Google Play Store thanks to their Facebook advertising methods.
Once installed, the dangerous apps do not offer any of the promised features and instead push advertisements while trying to linger on the victim’s device for as long as possible.
To evade deletion, the apps hide on victim’s device by frequently changing their names and icons, imitating other regular Android system apps like Settings or even Google Play Store itself.
Corresponding McAfeethe apps work by abusing Contact Provider’s Android component.
This means that every time the user installs a new app, the adware uses a new subsystem and starts the ad-serving process all over again.
Hence, the user thinks that the ads are being delivered by the newly installed app.
“This malware is an auto-launching malware. As soon as users download them from Google Play, they are immediately infected,” the security researchers warn.
“Variants are still being developed all the time, being released by different developer accounts. Hence, it is not easy for users to notice this type of malware.”
The adware apps can prove incredibly frustrating for infected users. They create a persistent service to display their ads and when the user stops the service it just restarts it.
The malicious apps that McAfee found are as follows:
- garbage man
- power doctor
- Super clean
- Full Clean – Clean the cache
- fingertip cleaner
- quick cleaner
- Keep clean
- Windy clean
- carpet clean
- Cool clean
- Strong clean
- Meteor clean
Although they’ve since been removed from the Google Play Store, it’s worth staying alert and looking out for apps with similar names, especially if they’re promoted on Facebook.
News of the adware is another blow to Android users, who were warned earlier this week about popular apps containing a malicious data-stealing virus called Joker.
The virus, a form of “fleeceware”, simulates clicks and intercepts text messages in order to steal money from Android users without their knowledge and subscribe them to unwanted premium paid services.
The best tips and hacks for phones and gadgets
Looking for tips and hacks for your phone? Want to find these secret features in social media apps? We’ve got you covered…
Get the latest news about WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and other tech gadgets here.
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Tech & Science Team? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9195530/facebook-warning-danger-adware-android/ Warning to MILLIONS of Facebook users – there is a hidden danger you must avoid