A new report by Trend Micro has revealed that over 30 malicious applications in Play Store are collecting user data as well as tracking their locations without users’ knowledge. The report revealed that majority of these applications offer users different security capabilities including battery saving, scanning, CPU cooling, locking apps, Wi-Fi security and message security.
While all of the applications which provided these services actually completed the promised tasks, they also secretly collected users’ data. The researchers wrote, http://blog.trendmicro.com/trendlabs-security-intelligence/apps-disguised-security-tools-bombard-users-ads-track-users-location/ “For example, if the user installs another app, then it will immediately be reported as suspicious. Or the user will be sent notifications like ‘10.0 GB files are being wasted,’ which will prompt some kind of action. But the data shown in these messages are fake — they are just used to add a layer of legitimacy to the app.”
“The aggressive ads show up during many different scenarios — for example, after the app sends notices to unlock the device screen or if the user is told to connect to a charger. The user is bombarded with ads with almost every action. It is clear that one of the main focuses of the app is ad display and click fraud.”
Following the discovery of these applications, Trend Micro notified Google and since then, they have been removed from Play Store.