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Google removed 813 creepware apps found on Google Play Store: See what it means

Google Play Store is prone to various apps with malign intentions. Read on to know more about the new creepware apps found

India TV Tech Desk Written by: India TV Tech Desk New Delhi Published on: May 13, 2020 17:15 IST
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More than 1,000 creepware apps were found

Its no surprise that the Google Play Store has been a home to malicious apps time and again. Various malign apps have been discovered on the Play Store in the past and recently, Google removed more than 800 'creepware' apps from the Google Play Store. The apps were found by a research group that reached out to Google to tell about the same last year. Read on to know more about it.

Google removes creepware apps: See what is it

It is suggested that the research was conducted by the New York University, Cornell Tech, and NortonLifeLock Research Group, who specialises in stalker-like apps. According to a report by ZDNet, the researchers made use of an algorithm developed by them called CreepRank to identify creepware apps. For those who don't know, creepware apps aren't fully spyware or stalkerware apps but have their qualities and can stalk, threaten, or dupe users.

The algorithm was used to detect spyware-like behaviour on the basis of activities such as spoofing, denial-of-service attacks, accessing SMSs -- something the stalkerware apps can do. Following this, the apps were given a creep score. While reflecting the features of stalkerware or spyware doesn't make the apps one of them, creepware apps can still cause abuse to the users and can be combined with other malicious apps for more damage.

The CreepRank algorithm was tested on over 50 million Android smartphones by running the algorithm on data from the apps downloaded on the devices. The anonymised data was provided by NortonLifeLock and included devices with Norton Mobile Security mobile antivirus.

Several apps were tested from the data sets of 2017, 2018, and 2019 and around 1,095 creepware apps were discovered by the researchers out of which, 813 creepware apps no longer exist on the Google Play Store.

You can have a look at the for a better idea.

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