Google Play Store is prone to malicious apps and the statement stands true as security researchers at UK-based Sophos have yet again found out a new set of Android apps with ‘Fleeceware,’ with the apps crossing millions of downloads. Read on to know more.
The 21 'Fleeceware' apps
According to the Sophos researchers, 17 apps on the Google Play Store are Fleeceware apps. What’s more surprising is that these malicious apps have more than 600 million downloads, meaning more than 500 million users are using them.
For those who don’t, Fleeceware is a new term that was coined by Sophos itself last September. Fleeceware initiates financial fraud. This is done by violating an Android app, which has free trial periods for users.
Here are the 21 Fleeceware Android apps
- Face X Play
- Go Keyboard
- Go Keyboard Lite
- Go SMS Pro
- Go Recorder
- Go Security
- Z Camera
- Master Recorder
- S Photo Editor
- Wonder Video
- Photo Recovery & Video Recovery
- V Recorder
- V Recorder
How do the ‘Fleeceware’ apps work?
When a user goes for an app’s free trial, the user has to cancel the trial period to avoid any charges. They either cancel it or uninstall the app. The second option makes it obvious for the apps developers to cancel the user’s subscription.
However, Fleeceware apps’ developers don’t do so and charge users a huge amount of money (around $100 to $240 a year). This was discovered last year in 24 apps, with apps ranging from calculators to QR code scanners.
What should users do?
Firstly, if you have any of the aforementioned apps on your smartphone, end the trial period and delete them now; mere deletion won’t work. Check your payment history to see if any money hasn’t been deducted.
Try avoiding going for Android apps with free trials. In case you already have such apps, you should read the conditions and terms properly.
In addition to this, around 17 Android apps have been found by Bitdefender that display aggressive adverts. The apps are now being removed from the Google Play Store.
The apps are Car Racing 2019, 4K Wallpaper (Background 4K Full HD), Backgrounds 4K HD, QR Code Reader & Barcode Scanner Pro, File Manager Pro - Manager SD Card/Explorer, VMOWO City: Speed Racing 3D, Barcode Scanner, Screen Stream Mirroring, QR Code - Scan & Read a Barcode, Period Tracker - Cycle Ovulation Women's, QR & Barcode Scan Reader, Wallpapers 4K, Backgrounds HD, Transfer Data Smart, Explorer File Manager, Today Weather Radar, Mobnet.io: Big Fish Frenzy, and Clock LED.