It seems we can’t go a week without a bunch of malicious apps being discovered in the Google Play Store.
Google recently took down a whopping 52 apps capable of intercepting passwords, stealing Facebook credentials and taking screenshots of private conversations. Tap or click here to ensure you don’t have any installed on your phone.
There’s yet another wave of bad apps you have to watch out for, and they’ve already been downloaded nearly 10 million times. We have the complete list and tips on keeping safe below.
Here’s the backstory
Despite its resources, Google can’t keep up with every bad app uploaded to its official Play Store. Fortunately, cybersecurity experts are always looking to give Big Tech a heads up.
The team at Doctor Web highlighted 28 malicious apps in the Google Play Store consisting of photo editing tools, custom wallpaper and keyboard themes, among others. An additional eight malicious apps masqueraded as camera, photo and chat apps.
Doctor Web told Google about the threats, but some remain lingering in the Play Store.
Are any of these apps on your phone?
Here are the first 28 malicious apps provided by Doctor Web. These apps push intrusive ads, steal information, break into social media accounts, download malware, intercept messages and more.
Check and double-check if you have any of these installed on your device:
- Photo Editor: Beauty Filter — gb.artfilter.tenvarnist
- Photo Editor: Retouch & Cutout — de.nineergysh.quickarttwo
- Photo Editor: Art Filters — gb.painnt.moonlightingnine
- Photo Editor – Design Maker — gb.twentynine.redaktoridea
- Photo Editor & Background Eraser — by.photoground.twentysixshot
- Photo & Exif Editor — de.xnano.photoexifeditornine
- Photo Editor – Filters Effects — from.hitopgop.sixtyeightgx
- Photo Filters & Effects — from.sixtyonecollice.cameraroll
- Photo Editor: Blur Image — from.instgang.fiftyggfife
- Photo Editor: Cut, Paste — de.fiftyninecamera.rollredactor
- Emoji Keyboard: Stickers & GIFs — gb.crazykey.sevenboard
- Neon Theme Keyboard — com.neonthemekeyboard.app
- Neon Theme – Android Keyboard — com.androidneonkeyboard.app
- Cash Cleaner — com.cachecleanereasytool.app
- Fancy Charging — com.fancyanimatedbattery.app
- FastCleaner: Cash Cleaner — com.fastcleanercashecleaner.app
- Call Skins – Caller Themes — com.rockskinthemes.app
- funny caller — com.funnycallercustomtheme.app
- Call Me Phone Themes — com.callercallwallpaper.app
- InCall: Contact Background — com.mycallcustomcallscrean.app
- MyCall – Call Personalization — com.mycallcallpersonalization.app
- Caller Theme — com.caller.theme.slow
- Caller Theme — com.callertheme.firstref
- Funny Wallpapers – Live Screen — com.funnywallpapaerslive.app
- 4K Wallpapers Auto Changer — from.andromo.ssfiftylivesixcc
- NewScrean: 4D Wallpapers — com.newsscreen4dwallpapers.app
- Stock Wallpapers & Backgrounds — de.stockeighty.onewallpapers
- Notes – reminders and lists — com.notesreminderslists.app
Here are more bad apps to watch out for
The second group of malicious apps completes the list of 36. These apps contain Joker malware, a type of fleeceware that lures you in with free trials before automatically switching to a subscription.
Once you’re roped in, canceling the subscription is a pain. Joker can also intercept passwords, install other apps on your device, bypass two-factor authentication during in-app purchases and take screenshots of your messages.
Check your phone for these apps:
- Poco Launcher
- 4K Pro Camera
- Heart Emoji Stickers
- YouToon – AI Cartoon Effect
- Pista – Cartoon Photo Effect
- Water Reminder – Tracker & Reminder
- Yoga- For Beginner to Advanced
- Online Chat
Tap or click here to find and remove four more Android apps spreading Joker malware.
Now it’s time to delete!
Whether or not Google removed all these apps from the Play Store, you still have to delete them from your phone. Here’s how:
- Open the Google Play Store app.
- At the top right, tap the Profile icon.
- Tap Manage apps & devices > Manage.
- Tap the name of the app you want to delete.
- Tap Uninstall.
How to stay safe now and in the future
Deleting the offending apps is the first step. Now you need to make sure you don’t fall victim to malware. Here are some cybersecurity tips:
- Turn on Google Play Protect by heading to Google Play Store > Profile > Play Protect > Settings and turn on Scan apps with Play Protect.
- Check your phone for security updates by going to Settings > System > System update.
- Open a web browser on your phone and do a Google Security Checkup at myaccount.google.com/security-checkup. Follow the steps to give your device more robust security settings.
- Only download apps from official app stores. Always go to the official source and double-check that you are installing the correct app.
- Watch out for apps that use a similar logo to other popular apps or have similar functions. Also, check reviews to see if others are warning about suspicious activity.
- Pay attention to permissions. Stay away if an app wants full access to your text messages or notifications.
- Have trustworthy antivirus software on all your devices. We recommend our sponsor, TotalAV. Right now, get an annual plan of TotalAV Internet Security for only $19 at ProtectWithKim.com. That’s over 85% off the regular price!
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