It seems we can’t go a week without a lot of malicious apps being discovered in the Google Play Store.
Google recently removed as many as 52 apps that can intercept passwords, steal Facebook credentials, and take screenshots of private conversations. Tap or click here to make sure none is installed on your phone.
There’s another wave of bad apps to watch out for, and they’ve already been downloaded nearly 10 million times. We’ve got the full list and tips for staying safe below.
Here’s the backstory
Despite its resources, Google cannot keep up with every bad app uploaded to the official Play Store. Fortunately, cybersecurity experts are always looking to give Big Tech a warning.
The Doctor Web team highlighted 28 malicious apps on the Google Play Store, including photo editing tools, custom wallpapers, and keyboard themes. Another eight malicious apps disguised as camera, photo and chat apps.
Doctor Web told Google about the threats, but some of them linger on the Play Store.
Do you have any of these apps on your phone?
Here are Doctor Web’s first 28 malicious apps. These apps push intrusive ads, steal information, hack into social media accounts, download malware, intercept messages, and more.
Check and double-check if you have one of these installed on your device:
- Photo Editor: Beauty Filter — en.artfilter.tenvarnist
- Photo Editor: Retouch and Cut Out — de.nineergysh.quickarttwo
- Photo Editor: Art Filters — en.painnt.moonlightingnine
- Photo Editor – Design Maker — en.twentynine.redaktoridea
- Photo editor and background eraser — the.photoground.twentysixshot
- Photo and Exif Editor — de.xnano.photoexifeditornine
- Photo Editor – Filter Effects — the.hitopgop.sixtyeightgx
- Photo filters and effects — the.sixtyonecollice.cameraroll
- Photo Editor: Blur Image — the.instgang.fiftyggfife
- Photo Editor: Cut, Paste — the.fiftyninecamera.rollredactor
- Emoji Keyboard: Stickers and GIF — gb.crazykey.sevenboard
- Neon Theme Keyboard — com.neonthemekeyboard.app
- Neon Theme – Android Keyboard — com.androidneonkeyboard.app
- Cashe Cleaner — com.cachecleanereasytool.app
- Feel like charging — com.fancyanimatedbattery.app
- FastCleaner: Cashe Cleaner — com.fastcleanercashecleaner.app
- Caller Skins – Caller Themes — com.rockskinthemes.app
- funny caller — com.funnycallercustomtheme.app
- CallMe 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
- Auto Changer for 4K Wallpapers — de.andromo.ssfiftylivesixcc
- NewScrean: 4D Wallpapers — com.newscrean4dwallpapers.app
- Stock wallpapers and 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 kind of fleeceware that lures you in with free trials before automatically switching to a subscription.
Once you’re strapped in, canceling the subscription is tricky. 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 beginners to advanced
- Chat online
Tap or click here to find and remove four more Android apps that distribute Joker malware.
Now it’s time to delete!
Whether or not Google has removed all of these apps from the Play Store, you still need to remove them from your phone. Here’s how:
- Open the Google Play Store app.
- Tap the in the top right Profile icon.
- Tap Manage apps and devices > To manage.
- Tap the name of the app you want to remove.
- Tap remove.
How do you 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:
- Enable Google Play Protect by going to . to go Google Play Store > Profile > Play Protect > Settings and turn on Scan apps with Play Protect.
- Check your phone for security updates by going to . to go Settings > System > System update.
- Open a web browser on your phone and do a Google security check 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.
- Beware of apps that use a similar logo to other popular apps or have similar features. Also check reviews to see if others warn of suspicious activity.
- Watch out for permissions. Stay away if an app wants full access to your text messages or notifications.
- Get reliable antivirus software on all your devices. We recommend our sponsor TotalAV. Get an annual subscription of TotalAV Internet Security for just $19 at ProtectWithKim.com now. That’s over 85% off the regular price!
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