There are 17 such apps available on Google Play which can steal your personal data: Report

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There are at least 17 apps in Google Play that are reportedly part of a trojan group called HiddenAds. If cyber security firm Avast is to be believed, these apps are part of a larger hidden ads campaign, which mainly targeted users in India and Southeast Asia. Avast researchers found that these apps are disguised as games but are designed to display intrusive advertisements and may steal users’ personal information. Researchers observed that these Trojan apps have the ability to hide their icons on the device and periodically display advertisements on the device that cannot be skipped.

Avast’s team of researchers initially discovered a total of 47 apps belonging 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 of the Trojan apps discovered by the Avast team are claimed to also open the browser to show advertisements to users. Because applications hide their icons after a certain period of time, users are not able to understand the reason for the repeated appearance of ads they see on their devices. However, these Trojan apps can be uninstalled through the device’s app manager, as they are only visible there.

The Avast team found that each of the detected apps belonged to a different developer, listed on Google Play with a common email address.

Overall, these apps containing the Trojan HiddenAds have been downloaded more than 15 million times. Some of the top most downloaded apps, which were live on the Play Store at the time of writing, include Skate Board – New, Find Hidden Differences, Spot Hidden Differences, Tony Shoot – NEW and Stacking Guys.

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