In 2019, ESET researchers exposed a year-long adware campaign on Google Play. It tracked down its operator, which made use of multiple developer names and several tricks to avoid detection on your mobile phone.

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The following are the 21 apps that use adware as a form of attack:

  • Basketball Perfect Shot by JJDO TK
  • DU Recorder - Screen Recorder by Claure Apps
  • File Downloader for Insta by Carmen D. Adkins
  • Flat Music Player by Uranium
  • Free Radio FM Online by Juke Studio
  • Free Social Video Downloader by Mini Apps
  • VN Free Top Video Downloader by THELT
  • Free Video Downloader by DINH VIET HUNG
  • Heroes Jump by JJDO TK
  • HikeTop+ - Become Popular in IG by Claure Apps
  • Mini Lite for Facebook by Hien-DEV
  • MP4 Video Downloader by Tiler Hember
  • Ringtone Maker 2019 by CarlosGApps
  • Ringtone Maker Pro by DINH VIET HUNG
  • Tank Classic - Super Battle Tank by mrtcorp
  • SaveInsta by Uranium
  • Smart Gallery by Uranium
  • Smart Notes for You by Carmen D. Adkins
  • Solucionario de Algebra de Baldor by CarlosGApps
  • Video Downloader by TYPHU TEAM
  • Water Drink Reminder by Carmen D. Adkins

Although the 21 apps have been deleted on Google Play, they may still exist in the phones of people who downloaded them. ESET also reports that the apps are still available on third-party app stores. The apps have been downloaded and installed eight million times on Google Play, according to ESET.

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How does adware harm your device?

ESET identified the operator as a manufacturer of adware. Once infected, your device will display ads as full-screen activities. The adware may appear on any app, even if other apps do not support ads. But that's not the only way that adware destroys your device. The virus can perform a host of operations on your phone. The following are just some of them:

  • Generate increased network traffic, slowing down your device
  • Rapidly consume your battery resources
  • Gather your personal information and behavior

ESET is an Internet security company headquartered in Slovakia, with offices in the USA, Canada, Singapore, and Australia, among others. ESET is one of the world's best developers of antivirus software.

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