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Only a few months ago, Bitdefender found a trove of malicious apps in the official store that pushed aggressive unwanted ads that could lead to more serious attacks.
Now, they've done it again.
Researchers at Bitdefender found a number of malicious apps in the official Google Play store that push aggressive unwanted ads. Some of the apps in question are even malware themselves that can give thieves access to your phone if you download them and open them.
It's not hard to imagine how these SharkBot Droppers might lead to more serious attacks, especially given the sensitive nature of many Android users' data.
The apps in question are now all removed from Google Play but some don't seem ready to leave the store. Bitdefender found one app from a developer that wasn't even tagged as malicious in the malware domain database and it still appears in the store today. UPDATE: The app has been removed from the Google Play Store but it doesn't mean that it won't return. The same malicious app was present in the Google Play store as early as March.
Bitdefender found SharkBot Dropper apps that push ads and install additional APKs (applications) on top of your current ones, causing the notification pop-ups to flood your screen. Reviewers have noticed the app behaviour and complained about it in Google Play, but since they are not marked by Google itself as dangerous, unsuspecting users might fall victim to them.
The most worrying of all is an app called "Super Wallpaper HD" for Android, which had tens of thousands of installs before it was removed from the store on January 25th.
Source: Android SharkBot Droppers on Google Play Underline Platform's Security Needs - AlienVault - Open Threat Exchange