Google Play reportedly has at least 17 apps, part of a Trojan group called HiddenAds. If considered by cyberspace firm Avast, these apps are part of a larger HiddenAIDS campaign that primarily targeted users in India and South East Asia. Researchers at Avast found that these apps are molded as games, but are designed to show intrusive advertisements and can steal users’ personal information. Researchers noticed that these Trojan apps have the ability to hide their icons in the device and periodically show advertisements on the device that cannot be skipped.
Avast’s team of researchers initially discovered a total of 47 apps related to the HiddenAds trojan, a part of the Trojan family. However, Google removed 30 of those apps upon receiving the report from the antivirus company.
Some Trojan apps discovered by the Avast team are claimed to also open the browser to show users ads. Because applications hide their icons after a certain timeframe, users are not able to understand the reason for repeated advertisements appearing on their device. However these Trojan apps can be uninstalled via the device’s App Manager, as they are only visible there.
The Avast team found that each of the discovered apps belongs to a different developer, which is listed on Google Play with a common email address.