238 Google Play Apps with Over 440 Million Installs Were Affected by Adware

Google puts a lot of effort into Android’s security system built-into the Play Store which blocks apps that have adware or spyware in them. However, a report by mobile security company Lookout has found that Google recently had to quash 238 Play Store apps with a combined 440 million installs that were affected by the BeiTaAd adware. It is said that the bug was found mostly on apps like TouchPal which offers emoji keyboards. Interestingly, all 238 apps, including TouchPal were published on the Play Store by the same Shanghai based company CooTek.

Offering some details on BeiTaAd, some users have reported that devices became unusable after a certain extent. The adware doesn’t appear immediately when you install one of the aforementioned apps. Instead, it takes shape a few days later, starting to play ads sporadically, even when your phone is locked. Furthermore, ads spontaneously appeared on lock screens, making things pretty difficult for several users.

While it makes sense to stay away from cooky apps, there are times when users can’t really tell if an app is shady or legit. But thanks to the security companies like Lookout, Google can get a warning before the menace spreads. This goes to show that Google’s work with regards to enhancing in-app security is ever growing. But just as fixes are found, newer bugs and/or malware find their way into Android.

If you’re worried that you might have one of those 238 apps, you can check out each app individually from Lookout’s official page below.

Source: Lookout

Via: Ars Technica