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These Google Play Store Apps Have Ads With Massive Battery Drain
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These Google Play Store Apps Have Ads With Massive Battery Drain

by Aiman MaulanaJanuary 17, 2020
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These Google Play Store Apps Have Ads With Massive Battery Drain

Over 1000 Apps on Google Play Store Can Access Your Data Without Permission

There are a ton of apps available for download on the Google Play Store. There are paid ones and there are even more free ones around. Given the sheer amount, it can be hard to tell the dangerous ones apart from the safe ones. Today, we’re going through some apps that you should avoid.

Bitdefender has discovered over 17 apps on Google Play Store that contain ads which result in a massive battery drain for your smartphone / tablet. The scariest thing about this is that the apps don’t have to be used in order to affect your device.

It is said the apps are able to avoid detection by Google and users by hiding their presence on devices for about 48 hours, and prevent the ads from running for four hours. Furthermore, the ads run at random intervals and have their codes split into multiple files make it even harder to detect. The apps also work as described on Google Play Store, making it seem legit.

Users see multiple ads either in-game when pressing different buttons or even if not in the app. The frequency at which ads appear while in the game depends on a random value. In half the cases, there is a probability that when using some game functionalities, an ad pop[s] up.

Bitdefender

As for how the codes are split, it is said that the ad-serving code is found in one file, while the working game code is found in the second. Bitdefender researchers wrote:

In terms of registered receivers, the first one is for android.intent.action.BOOT_COMPLETED. When the broadcast is received, the app will begin an activity, which starts a job scheduler for showing ads. The scheduled service starts after 10 minutes and shows an ad only once. The scheduler recreates itself by calling the method from the activity that created it initially, then starts again after 10 minutes.

Another receiver the app registers is for android.intent.action.USER_PRESENT. Whenever the user unlocks the device, if at least 4 hours have passed since the app installed it, there is a chance an ad will show. That’s because the ad displays are programmed by generating a random number of less than 3 that is checked against a value. If the number generated is equal to the check number, an ad appears. Therefore, the probability of displaying ads is once every three times the user unlocks the phone.

Overall, there are over 17 malicious apps with these effects on Google Play Store now. All of the apps make up about 550,000 downloads, so there is a chance you might be affected as well. As for the full list of apps, we have listed them right below here:

  • 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
  • Clock LED

Interestingly, these apps aren’t classified as malware. This is because they limit their hidden functions to displaying ads. It’s best to uninstall them as soon as possible as you never know if the developers may add more harmful features to them.

Source: Arstechnica

Pokdepinion: Didn’t expect ads to result in a noticeable battery drain even. Best to remove the apps as soon as you can if you have them on your smartphone / tablet.

About The Author
Aiman Maulana
Jack of all trades, master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one. YouTuber, video editor, tech head, and a wizard of gaming. What's up? :)

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