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Google takes down 27 apps that guided users to fake Play Store

Security researchers discovered these apps infected devices with adware and directed users to a fake version of Google Play Store.

Google removes 27 apps for infecting devices with adware
Google removes 27 apps for infecting devices with adware (REUTERS)

Google has removed 27 apps that prompted users to install a fake Play Store after researchers from Pune-based Quick Heal Technologies spotted these malicious apps of dropper category and reported the issue.

These apps were designed to infect devices with adware after someone fell prey to their continuous installation prompts for fake "Google Play Store", Quick Heal Security Lab said.

The apps stated that users need to install Google Play Store for gaming purposes. If someone cancelled the installation prompt, then it showed the pop-up continuously until installation of the app.

On executing the parent app, it launched a dropped app. The fake "Google Play Store" remained in the device even after its parent app was uninstalled and kept on displaying full screen ads at random time intervals.

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The app kept running in the background and showed full screen ads till one did not uninstall it manually.

These apps were published by the same developer with the name "AFAD Drift Racer" and all the apps belonged to free car racing games category, Quick Heal said.

To avoid installing fake mobile apps, users should check an app's description before downloading and avoid downloading apps from third-party app stores. Using a reliable mobile antivirus may also help prevent fake and malicious apps from getting installed on one's phone.