Google Removed 85 Adware Apps From The Play Store; Received 8 Million Downloads

Google has taken strict action by completely removing 85 adware-ridden Android apps from the Play Store. Google did this after going through a report from Trend Micro, a security firm. The 85 apps were disguised as photography and gaming apps and received 8 million downloads on the Google Play Store.

Trend Micro has clearly mentioned the app names, package names and number of downloads of the 85 adware apps in this list. Adware apps mainly focus on to show full-screen ads your smartphones. These apps run in the background without getting noticed and continue to display ads, thus generating ad-revenue. You will also find it difficult to uninstall these apps because they get hide after the installation.

Trend Micro detected these 85 adware apps as AndroidOS_Hidenad.HRXH. Ecular Xu, one of the researchers at Trend Micro said, “It isn’t your run-of-the-mill adware family”. The adware apps implemented unique techniques to order to evade detection from the user.

The security researchers of Trend Micro observed that the adware apps remains at a dormant state for at least 30 minutes after the installation. After the waiting period ends, the apps hide their icon and replace them with a shortcut icon on the home screen. This is an automatic process and the surprising part is that the app remains on your phone even if you uninstall it via the drag and drop process.

The report also says that the adware apps display ads on the screen after a specified time when the phone gets unlocked. The research team behind Trend Micro believes that the users running Android 8.0 or above might not be affected by these adware apps. This is because Android 8.0 or later asked for permission from the user when an app tries to create a shortcut icon on the home screen.

We have found that Google does remove all the malicious apps after being reported. But by the time, Google removes them, the apps have already received a million downloads.


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