SAN FRANCISCO – Google has removed 29 malicious apps that have been sharing pornographic content and forwarding users to undesired websites to steal personal information.
Some of these Android apps have been downloaded millions of times according to a report from US-based cyber security firm Trend Micro.
“A user downloading one of these apps will not immediately suspect that there is anything amiss, until they decide to delete the app,” said Trend Micro.
The app will push several full screen ads when users unlock their devices, including malicious ads, such as fraudulent content and pornography that will pop up via the user’s browser.
There was “a paid online pornography player that was downloaded when clicking the pop up,” the report added.
The report further indicates that some of these apps redirected to phishing websites that asked the user for personal information, such as addresses and phone numbers.
For example, an app could “hide its icon from the application list, making it more difficult for users to uninstall the app since they will be unable to drag and delete it,” Trend Micro noted.