Adware disguised as games, TV apps, and remote control simulator apps infected millions of devices with adware. Security firm TrendMicro revealed in a blog that 85 apps containing the adware made it on to the Google Play store. The apps were subsequently downloaded 9 million times. The adware could display full-screen ads, hide itself, monitor a device’s screen unlocking functionality, and run in the background on the device. TrendMicro said Google removed the apps from the Play Store quickly after verifying its report.
The app informs the user that it is loading or buffering. However, after a few seconds, the app disappears from the user’s screen and hides its icon on the device. The fake app still runs in a device’s background after hiding itself. Though hidden, the adware is configured to show a full-screen ad every 15 or 30 minutes on the user’s device.